prison realignment

GOVERNOR SIGNS COMPROMISE MEASURE TO EASE PRISON OVERCROWDING; COULD SEND INMATES TO PRIVATE PRISONS OUT OF STATE

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 24, 2013 (Sacramento) – Under a court order to reduce California’s prison population by 9,600 prisoner’s at year’s end to relieve overcrowding or face contempt of court charges, Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law Senate Bill 105. 

The bill provides that Brown will ask a panel of judges to delay the order to allow the state time to expand rehabilitation programs to reduce the prison population, including mental health and substance abuse treatment.  But if that request is rejected, SB 105 will shift thousands of inmates to county jails and to private, out-of-state prisons.


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PRISONER REALIGNMENT DRAWS CRITICAL ASSESSMENTS ON BOTH RIGHT AND LEFT

By Miriam Raftery

Governor Jerry Brown, in his State of the State Speech in January, praised legislators for casting “difficult votes to cut billions from the state budget.  You curbed prison spending through an historic realignment,” he said among other cost-cutting measures listed.

The realignment shifts responsibility for tens of thousands of prisoners from the state to local governments by 2014.  The action is fueled in part by a court ruling that ordered California to reduce overcrowding in state prisons by 33,000 prisoners, though the Governor’s move goes further in an effort to cut the budget.

The action, however, shifts responsibilities for those prisoners  to local counties and cities. It is also forcing some jurisdictions to release some prisoners early to avert overcrowding in local jails--and raises questions on how best to address the state's crime problems overall.


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.