Sheriff Scott Jones Uses Charles Manson’s Death to Call for Changes to Parole System

SACRAMENTO -- Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones is using Charles Manson's death to call for changes to the state's parole system. In a post to his Facebook page Monday morning, Jones criticizes Gov. Jerry Brown and the legislature for allowing compassionate release, elderly parole and medical parole, among other laws involving the release of inmates.

Jones added that Manson's death is his "preferred way for psychopathic violent offenders who were sentenced to death to get out."

"He was a product of the failed system, again, not an excuse for the things that he did, but he failed and we failed. It was certainly a joint effort," said Vanessa Nelson-Sloane.

Nelson-Sloane is talking about infamous killed Charles Manson.

"And attitudes like Scott Jones' make sure that we'll continue to fail," Nelson-Sloane said.

Jones did not hold back his own opinion on Manson.

"All those things he might have been eligible for, elderly parole, compassionate release, medical parole, all of those things that the governor has come up with, either on his own or through the initiative process, or that the legislature has come up with apply to everybody, Charles Manson included," Jones said.

Jones believes Manson's death highlights what he sees as problems in the state's prison system.

While Manson stayed in Prison, Jones believes others like him could be released.

"There are dangerous, violent people, not with as high notoriety perhaps, but that there's dangerous, violent people being released under these programs today," Jones said.

"He makes me angry because he's using his position and he's using misstatements, half-truths and lies to make people afraid," Nelson-Sloane said.

Nelson-Sloane is the director of Life Support Alliance, a prisoner rights advocacy group. She's also married to a former lifer.

"He goes back into prisons with me now to help the guys in there learn how to change their lives and come home," she said.

She points to Manson as proof the parole system works.

"He was where he needed to be when he died because he couldn't function with us and we couldn't function with him. But he was up for consideration several times and the system worked. The system kept him away from the rest of us, kept us safe," she said.

At the same time, Nelson-Sloane has long supported the released of at least a couple of other Manson family members from prison.

"I've been to a couple of Bruce Davis' hearings, I'd be happy to have Bruce Davis move in next door to me," she said.

Nelson-Sloane worries statements like Jones' puts all inmates on the same level as Charles Manson.

But Jones feels our current system takes too much power away from criminal sentences issued by judges.

"At no time should sentencing be vested solely in the governor's office and or CDCR to determine what the appropriate length of a sentence is or how little someone should spend in prison on their sentence that they were sentenced to," Jones said.