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September 19, 2009

Details on California's not-quite-complete prison population reduction plan

This Los Angeles Times article, headlined "Governor's prison plan seeks more time to reduce inmate population: Schwarzenegger's proposal is submitted to federal judges Friday evening, only hours before the deadline," reports on the latest prison reform doings in California. Here are the basics from the start of the article:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Friday evening gave federal judges a road map to reducing state prison overcrowding. But the proposal would take more than twice as long as the judges ordered to make the improvements they demanded and would fall short if state lawmakers did not approve certain provisions, administration officials said.

The plan appears to set up a confrontation between the governor and the judges, who made their impatience clear in ordering the state to forge a plan to reduce the number of inmates by 40,000 within two years. Schwarzenegger's plan would take five years -- if lawmakers sign off on it.

Under a second scenario, if lawmakers balk at more prison changes than they reluctantly approved last week on the final day of the legislative session, the state would retain nearly 23,000 more inmates after two years than the judges have said is reasonable.

There was no indication Friday that legislators were more inclined to approve the proposals the governor included than they were when they dismissed some of the same ideas in recent weeks under pressure from law enforcement groups.

The governor's proposal avoids anything that could be portrayed as a mass release of criminals or that would leave him on a ledge without lawmakers' support. A combination of prison construction and a variety of generally modest steps to reduce inmate numbers, it is limited to maneuvers for which he already has authority or might receive it.

If the judges find that the state's proposal violates the order they issued Aug. 4, they could hold officials in contempt. The judges could also ask inmates' attorneys to present their own plan to reduce overcrowding and order the state to implement it.

The court submission by the state of California can be accessed at this link.

Some recent related posts:

UPDATE How Appealing has links to other press coverage of the California plan in this post.

September 19, 2009 at 09:59 AM | Permalink


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This is ghoulish, unauthorized human experimentation on a population scale. These judges should be removed if the crime rate increases as a result of their crimes against humanity. All prematurely released prisoners should be moved into halfway houses on the streets where these judges live.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Sep 19, 2009 8:48:33 PM

Take a mean dog, lock him in a cage for 10 years & poke him with a stick every day, then open the door, pat him on the head & say: "Be a nice dog!"

Posted by: Steven Kage | Feb 23, 2010 12:25:13 PM

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