Now you see ’em, now you don’t!
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is redesigning its website and has conscientiously removed some of former state Attorney General Kamala Harris’s more controversial arrest records during her term in office.
You’ve heard of “favorite son”? How about “favorite daughter”?
The department removed public access to a number of reports on incarceration in the state, including when presidential candidate Kamala Harris (D.) was California’s attorney general. Twice a year, the CDCR releases information about the number of new individuals incarcerated in the California prison system as part of its “Offender Data Points” series. These reports provide important information on demographics, sentence length, offense type, and other figures relevant to criminal justice and incarceration.
Until recently, these reports were publicly available at the CDCR’s website. A search using archive.org’s Wayback Machine reveals that as of April 25, 2019—the most recent indexed date—ODP reports were available dating back to the spring of 2009. As of August 2019, the same web page now serves only a single ODP report, the one for Spring 2019. The pre-2019 reports have been removed.
The changes matter in part because the reports contain information about Harris’s entire time as state A.G., 2011 to 2017. Harris has taken fire from multiple opponents for her “tough on crime” record as California’s top cop, an image that she has tried to shed as a far-left senator and presidential candidate.
Perhaps the state will restore the vanished records someday — the day after Harris is elected president, no doubt. But can Harris get elected by portraying herself as “soft on crime?”
The data have been used in other Free Beacon reporting on Harris, specifically the finding that more than 120,000 black and Latino Californians were sent to prison while she was in the State A.G.’s office.
While the change is beneficial for Harris, a CDCR representative said the changes were unrelated to her campaign, and were prompted by AB 434, a California law setting standards for web accessibility.
“Making our website fully compliant was a significant and ongoing undertaking. It required a redesign of the look and feel of the website, and a need to evaluate all of the thousands of documents and other files that were linked to our website,” Jeffrey Callison, CDCR assistant secretary for communications, told the Free Beacon.
I guess you can be tough on crime as long as the people you get tough with aren’t minorities.
This reminds me of the way that the Kremlin used to scrub the historical record when a new Communist Party leader came into office. It made for some humorous changes, as the apparatchiks would have to adopt the view that Stalin was good or bad and other historical figures were in or out of favor.
Harris may run, but no one hides from history.