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June 7, 2011

California reports on its prison population plans after Plata

As detailed in this new AP piece, "Gov. Jerry Brown's administration responded Tuesday to a U.S. Supreme Court order to quickly slash California's prison population, saying the governor's stalled plan to shift thousands of inmates from state prisons to local jails will eventually address the overcrowding problem." Here is more:

The administration acknowledged in its response to the high court that it might not meet the court's initial goal of cutting the prison population by more than 10,000 inmates by the end of November. But it did not request a delay. "What we've said is we're going to move forward with this plan and we'll ask for more time if we need it," Corrections Secretary Matthew Cate said at a news conference.

The latest count shows California's 33 prisons housing 143,565 inmates in space designed for fewer than 80,000, meaning the prisons are at 180 percent of their design capacity.

In an order late last month, the Supreme Court gave California two years to remove more than 33,000 inmates after the justices ruled easing congestion is the only way to improve unconstitutionally poor inmate medical care.

The administration's response outlined all the steps the state has taken in recent years to reduce its prison population, including sending about 10,000 inmates to other states. But its compliance with the recent order hinges almost entirely on plans that Brown signed into law earlier this year to shift responsibility for thousands of lower-level inmates to counties.

The shift cannot take effect unless local governments get the money to provide jail cells and rehabilitation services, and funding for that remains stalled in the state Legislature. Republican lawmakers have blocked Brown's proposal for an extension of temporary tax increases that are set to expire by the end of the month....

The Supreme Court had indicated that it might consider a request for a delay in its order, which includes benchmarks in reducing overcrowding along the way, but Cate said it was too soon for that. "It would be irresponsible to say we're going to do nothing, go back to the same three judges and cross our fingers," Cate said.

Prior posts on the Plata ruling and responses thereto:

June 7, 2011 at 03:43 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Gov. Brown should declare the SC decision as void for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The Halloween costumed buffoons on the SC know nothing about crime, corrections. All they know is lawyer rent seeking, a synonym for armed robbery of the taxpayer. The decision is totally irresponsible threat to the public safety, Duty One and Duty Last of the Governor. Let these federal cult criminals, send Army Airborne to overwhelm the armed guards of California protecting the public safety. Show it on TV. By the end of the year, every one of the SC clowns will have been retired or impeached by the Congress.

To deter.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jun 8, 2011 12:48:48 AM

Duty One and Duty Last of the Governor. Let these federal cult criminals, send Army Airborne to overwhelm the armed guards of California protecting the public safety. Show it on TV. By the end of the year, every one of the SC clowns will have been retired or impeached by the Congress.

Posted by: cheap customized jerseys | Jun 8, 2011 5:17:33 AM

Twenty years ago, California devoted 2% of its budget to corrections and 10% to higher education. Currently, we devote 12% to corrections and 7% to higher education. It is hard to imagine a more dramatic and timely opportunity to take a look at sentencing reform in California.

As anyone who has studied it knows, that huge jump in corrections expenditure has been due to a deliberate campaign by the prison guards union to increase sentencing across-the-board and through any means necessary.

The Plata decision is a wake-up call to the horrific situation that we now face as a result: ridiculously large numbers of people incarcerated for ridiculously long periods of time, all so that prison guards and their union bosses can be assured of continuing to earn ridiculously large salaries, along with wads of side cash that they earn by smuggling drugs and cell phones into the prisoners that they are paid so much to guard. It's high time to end the craziness. It's time for across-the-board sentencing reform in California.

Posted by: James | Jun 8, 2011 10:17:38 PM

Personally, I think that we need comprehensive sentencing reform. No prison sentences for first-time, non-violent drug offenders. Period. Decriminalize the possession and use of most recreational drugs.

Posted by: JDU | Jun 14, 2011 5:26:14 PM

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