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April 28, 2007

The failing of California's new prison plan

This Los Angeles Times article does a strong job covering the failings of California's recent new prison legislation:

The Legislature on Thursday passed a sweeping spending package to ease overcrowding in California prisons but did not tackle several problems that experts say are driving the long-running crisis.  While lawmakers celebrated their vote to add 53,000 beds to the state corrections system and boost rehabilitation for inmates, critics beyond the Capitol worried that other ideas left out of the $7.4-billion deal might be sidelined for good.

For example, the package excluded any effort to deal with the state's discredited parole system.  Also omitted was a commission to review California's Byzantine sentencing laws.  A third proposal that has drawn particularly high marks from criminologists — to move 4,500 nonviolent female offenders out of prison to correctional centers near their homes — was missing from the agreement as well.

"This is a deal about practical politics and beds," said Franklin Zimring, a professor and corrections expert at UC Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law. "So it's going to satisfy the Sealy mattress company, and that's about it."

Some related posts:

UPDATE: The Christian Science Monitor has this piece on California's prison deal which starts this way: "Faced with prisons so overcrowded that the federal government is threatening intervention, California has opted for a massive expansion of existing facilities."

April 28, 2007 at 01:34 PM | Permalink


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No mention of the Janus prison guard union.

Posted by: | Apr 28, 2007 7:44:20 PM

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