News

Schwarzenegger agrees to cut state prison population by 40,000 inmates

'Represents best option' to meet federal court order

The administration of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, yielding to a court order, has given a judicial panel a plan to reduce the number of state inmates by more than 40,000 within two years.

The plan, filed in federal courts in San Francisco and Sacramento, was the administration's second effort at responding to an Aug. 4 order by a three-judge panel to decrease the population of California's severely overcrowded prisons.

Matthew Cates, secretary of the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said, "We have thoroughly examined the court's concerns and believe that this plan represents the best option to meet the court's order."

In the Aug. 4 order, the panel said reducing the population of the state's adult prisons to 137.5 percent of capacity, or by about 40,000 inmates, was needed to correct "woefully and constitutionally inadequate" health care.

The 33 adult prisons now house 151,000 inmates in facilities built for 80,000.

The state's first response in September would have decreased the number by only 18,000. Last month, the panel rejected that proposal and ordered the administration to come up with a new plan or risk having the court develop and enforce its own plan.

The latest plan would meet the reduction goal with a combination of administrative changes in areas such as parole and changes in state law that would require either action by the Legislature or a court order.

The plan says that if the Legislature declines to amend a law, the federal court could order a waiver or circumvention of the law.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 16, 2009 at 8:55 am


and where are these 40,000 inmates going to go? Out on the streets? California is falling apart!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Nov 16, 2009 at 9:33 am

They can get a job in government and join the rest of their crooked friends.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sherry
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Nov 16, 2009 at 9:45 am

There are many prison residents that have met the standards and been approved by Parole Boards for release, only to have their parole overruled by the Governor. They had made arrangements with family or friends for living accommodations. Many have completed their AA degrees and are continuing their educations. Not all prison residents are dangerous, they just need a second chance.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Stoneridge
on Nov 16, 2009 at 10:43 am

Another fine example of how he's cleaning the house, as he was elected to do so by those that voted for him.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Al.
a resident of Downtown
on Nov 16, 2009 at 10:50 am

Yeah! right Sherry. They need a second chance so that they can go carry out more crimes.. The truth is we need tougher judges and more jails.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Nov 16, 2009 at 1:23 pm


Send them to Stacey's neighborhood!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Morris1
a resident of Grey Eagle Estates
on Nov 16, 2009 at 1:47 pm

The Dept. of Corrections already releases 18,000 each month. Do you really think you will even notice 40,000 over 2 years? They release that many every 2 months. This is all much to do over nothing. All the "sky is falling rhetoric" is coming from law enforcement and their special interest groups that profit off the prison system.

Once you actually do some research and think on your own you will realize that Union job security and money is and always has been the goal. Continued growth of the criminal justice system is what they want. It is the fastest sector of economic growth now. The more bodies they keep and harvest the more money they make. Who payes? We the taxpayer. Who suffers? We the taxpayers as our schools and other infrastructures deteriorate as we are forced to pump more and more into prisons.

$10 Billion is the tip of the iceberg. No one talks about the court costs. Try around $35 BILLION A YEAR. Keep incarcerating all those technical parole violators and drug addicts if you are happy with a 70% recidivism rate in comparison to other states at 45% (They actually offer rehabilitation and help upon release to their parolees). We no longer educate, we incarcerate.

California is buried under too many laws that waste BILLIONS and do not make us any safer. People need to stop voting for tough on crime crap laws that they don't understand and are nothing but money makers for law enforcement. 3 strikes and Jessica's law and the like are perfect examples. They have filled our prisons with the wrong people because they are so broad spectrum. CA has the only 3 strike law that almost any crime can be a 3rd strike and you can have 20 years of being crime free and go to prison for life. How could anyone think spending over $1 million to keep someone who stole "socks" or "pizza" be right? We are stuck on stupid in CA. We deserve bankruptcy. Apparently it must come to that for people to see the true picture of justice in this state. Bring on the next $15 BILLION DEFICIT JANUARY 2010. Yeah, build more prisons. Great idea.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tom
a resident of Dublin
on Nov 16, 2009 at 2:27 pm

Don't worry Pleasanton residents the PPD will keep you safe.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by !
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 16, 2009 at 4:07 pm

How about saving the State an enormous sum of money by carrying out the sentences of those on death row.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Winston Smith
a resident of Downtown
on Nov 17, 2009 at 12:55 am

How did it get so bad? I think a reasonable correlation is the power of the employee unions such as CCPOA and the political influence of corporate prison interests both of which are totally committed to making sure that the prison system grows. The prisons are supposed to be run by the State but everyone knows the prison guard's Union calls the shots. Collecting almost $2 million, a month from its members makes it a powerful entity and a major donor to candidates who do their bidding, keeping prisons full and profitable. They do this by supporting legislators who they can count on to criminalize more and more behavior and increase the existing sentences for laws already on the books and by direct donations to every group that wants to throw another 'law and order' initiative on a public that obviously does not read before they vote. Their mission: Keep as many as they can cram in locked up for as long as possible, so inept prison employees keep making $150,000 a year to babysit pot smokers.
It is not only the CCPOA that want jails full; it's the companies contracting slave labor from them. For pennies a day inmates are forced into manufacturing everything from our clothing to computers. Jobs that used to be filled by us. Too bad California voters never bother to question anything, buying into the propaganda who ever talks loudest is right. There are currently many laws that call for mandatory first offense prison sentences. Offenders are offered a plea agreement (the courts could never handle it if all defendants elected to go to trial) and their choice is take the plea agreement or take it to trial, but, if they elect trial and found guilty the will receive the highest sentence possible. Most defendants (guilty or not) go for the plea agreement. Judges no longer have any discretion in sentencing ... it's the D.A.'s call and a notch in their conviction scorecard.

California now has the biggest prison system in the world, a system 40 percent bigger than the Federal Bureau of prisons. The state holds more inmates in its jails and prisons than do France, Great Britain, Germany, Japan, Singapore, and the Netherlands combined. At the current rate of expansion, assuming they again ignore a court order that forces release of prisoners, it will run out of room in a very short time. To remain at double capacity the state will need to open at least one new prison a year, every year. This would just maintain the current standards, not improve them. It doesn't take a genius to see the problem here, but then California isn't big on educationů


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Letsgetreal
a resident of another community
on Nov 17, 2009 at 5:48 am

These sex offender laws are all based on the myth and lie that recidivism rates for sex offenders are high. Without these myths and lies which creates hysteria, we wouldn't have the problems we have today.Check this out. Watch Systems, LLC claims "50% of Sex offenders re-offend," Obviously that is correct, right?

Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Nov 17, 2009 at 5:00 pm

another Cholo wannabe...give it a rest mes petites...you know that there will always be only one true Cholo...signed, Cholo, HOORAY! VIVA CHOLO!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Concerned resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 18, 2009 at 1:16 pm

"Not all prison residents are dangerous, they just need a second chance."

Well, I agree that not everyone who is in prison is dangerous, however, most are violent and dangerous... anyone remembers the Dugart case? That guy was on parole, and kidnapped an 11 year old, kept her captive and all that, even though neighbors complained and called police. There are other cases where convicted sex offenders were freed and they committed crimes again. I'd rather be safe than sorry and either keep people in jail, give them the death penalty for offenses like child rape and murder, or send them to Washington for Obama to take care of - those opposed to the death penalty should re-think their position: some of these prisoners are murderers, sex offenders, why should they not get the death penalty?


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