California’s HUGE chess game

On one side, Governor Jerry Brown is screaming that CDCr & state government can handle the prison system again, and that federal oversight must end. On the other side, prisoners and advocates know that its all smoke & mirrors.

California has NOT effectively reduced the overcrowding crisis. What has happened is nothing more than a HUGE chess game and the pawns are the prisoners of the state and the taxpayers. Prisoners were moved to already crowded and overburdened county jails under the official title of “Realignment“. 9,000 prisoners were shipped out to other states under contract with private prisons. One of the women’s prisons was converted to a mens prison, despite KNOWING that the women are jammed packed inside one facility like canned sardines.

Is this what you would call “effectively reducing” the prisoner population? Not in my opinion. There is nothing lasting about these band aids.  California has an aging LIFER population. Many have done their time, plus numerous YEARS beyond their sentence. Why is this group not being looked at? It is FACT that this group has the lowest recidivism rate of any other group…1%. Release and alternatively sentence  non violent drug offenders, why is this group not being looked at? With a corrections budget of 10 BILLION dollars, the taxpayers of California should start asking “what the HELL is really going?” No rehabilitation, no viable programs, only 33 large warehouses. Who is being corrected? No one. But admin and other staff are raking in big money salaries, awesome benefits and retirement. When will the people of California become sick and tired of this crap they are being fed? Really they are in so many ways being robbed….there is no regard to public safety. Californians need to wake up and clear the smoke and break the mirrors-DEMAND lasting, real changes that contribute to public safety. For over 25 years CDCr has trampled  the taxpayers. Enough is enough!

Read this editorial from the OC Register, and contribute your thoughts.

Editorial: California prisons still packed

Brown wants court oversight of system lifted.

Politics, the saying goes, makes for strange bedfellows. So it seems with Gov. Jerry Brown’s appointment of Jeffrey Beard to be the new secretary of the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Mr. Beard had been a vocal critic of California’s prison system, testifying four years ago before a panel of federal judges that the state’s 33 prisons were dangerously overcrowded, operating at more than 180 percent of capacity.

Article Tab: image1-Editorial: California prisons still packed

Now, as he oversees the department he once criticized, Mr. Beard agrees with Gov. Brown that California’s prison system should be released from judicial supervision.

A cynic might suggest that Mr. Beard has been beguiled by Gov. Brown. But we see no reason to believe that Mr. Beard’s seeming about face is anything other than up and up; that he truly is satisfied with the progress the Golden State has made over the past four years to improve the quality of prison life for the state’s inmate population.

In fact, California houses 43,000 fewer inmates today than the state did in 2006 (though still about 10,000 above court order).

The thinning of California’s prison population is attributable to Gov. Brown’s realignment program, which diverted low-level criminal offenders to county jails rather than incarcerating them in state prisons.

Also, the state has spent billions of dollars to build more prison health care facilities and improve treatment for inmates suffering either mental or physical illness, while also hiring more doctors, nurses and other medical personnel.

Last month, Gov. Brown declared, “The prison crisis is over in California,” while contending the time had come for the federal courts to return control of the state’s prison system to Sacramento.

We empathize with Gov. Brown. But we are not persuaded that the state has done everything within its power to properly accommodate its prison population.

Indeed, despite the commendable progress California has made in recent years, the state prison system is still 140 percent above design capacity, including four prisons that are at 170 percent of capacity or higher.

Some of that overcapacity could have been ameliorated by enlisting the services of private prisons within the state. However, the state has, over the past decade, terminated contracts with six private correctional facilities that previously housed state inmates. Such private prisons generally are opposed by the state’s prison guards union.

Meanwhile, as California’s prison system remains the nation’s most crowded, Gov. Brown proposes to return to California over the next four years some 9,000 inmates who have been held in out-of-state private prisons.

That all but guarantees that, over those four years, California’s 33 prisons will get more, rather than less, crowded, which is why the state prison system was brought under federal court oversight in the first place.

Via OC Register


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