Beware candidates touting new "tough on crime" policies – and hold on to your wallet. Year after year, this state spends a steadily increasing portion of its budget on the prison system – without increasing public safety. Yet candidates in each election cycle try to appear ever tougher. Here's one area where California is an anomaly among the states: Since 1979, those who complete their prison sentences are placed on a three-year period of post-sentence supervision, called parole. California stands virtually alone in paroling all prisoners.

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