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Rights groups urge Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown to comply with prison reduction order

Jerrybrown A statewide coalition of human rights groups today urged Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown to devise a plan to comply with a federal court order to reduce the California prison population by 44,000 rather than delay the inevitable by appealing it.

Activists who support sentencing reform and broader rehabilitative efforts delivered letters to Brown's offices in Los Angeles, Sacramento and Oakland saying that the California Assembly has shown itself unable "to put reason over politics" to craft a plan to ease overcrowding so severe that the courts have said it violates inmates' constitutional rights.

"California's correctional system is in a tailspin that threatens public safety and raises the risk of fiscal disaster," the activists warned, noting corrections costs have increased fivefold in 15 years.

The Aug. 4 order by a three-judge federal court "is supported by extensive expert testimony" and appealing it will delay the adoption of more effective and less expensive ways to improve public safety, said Carol Strickman, staff attorney with Legal Services for Prisoners with Children.

Californians United for a Responsible Budget pointed to a National Council on Crime and Delinquency study that found early release programs such as the ones proposed in the Assembly but mired in political wrangling  don't jeopardize public safety.

State lawmakers are due to vote next week on a prison population reduction plan but minus sentencing reform measures that analysts say are essential to cost-cutting and sustainable reduction of the 170,000-plus inmates in state custody.

Brown said after the court order was issued that he would appeal it. He has until Sept. 3 to file notice that he will do so.

-- Carol J. Williams

Photo: California Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown in March. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

 
Comments () | Archives (8)

The people of california has decided that we want prisons for punishment not for rehabilitation.

If anyone doesnt like it, then change the law through the state legislature, not the courts.

Release them early? Just cause its too crowed. Are those judges CRACY, and risk more crime in our nieghborhoods. No way! treat the inmates like Sheriff Arceo in Arizona does, pitch tents in the desert and make then complete their full sentence and feed them baloney sandwiches, as a taxpayer i am not interested in rehabilition, just make them do their complete time, and the prisoners should reimburse the state for the cost of thier incaceration.

This prison overcrowding does not make any sense. Prison should be a self sustainable operation. These convicts should be taken out to construct their own barbed wire facilities similar to the Stalags where POWS were detained in Germany during WWII. Take all the inmates who has not demonstrated an overwhelming need to commit violence and who has served at least half their sentence to the new holding facilities. Barbed wire compounds and machine gun nest, maybe tents for the convicts. These camps would cost a fraction to run compared to the multi-million dollar facilities currently run by the Government. These convicts should be producing their own food with small farms or using old Army surplus food...With the endless supply of free labor, a Warden could become very creative.

Reform comes in small increments. Please, Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown, listen to the people who are so concerned with the overcrowding. Would you be able to live in your bathroom with another adult for 20 years? 40 years? It is inhumane to put 30 people on bunkbeds in the size of my living room and not expect there to be some frustration. No one has air conditioning, no one has CDs except run on batteries, no one can buy batteries except on quarterly packages if their families can afford it, the lights are so low you can't read very long without eye strain. Everyone is on lockdown now, no one goes to their jobs, no one goes to classes for GEDs, everyone sits in their cell or lies on their bunks for hours on end.... are the guards trying to brew another riot?

Can someone Please!! tell me?, What about our rights as law abiding citizens to be able to live safe in our communities?, No one kidnapped these people and just put them in prison for no reason, THEY! are the ones who put their own selves in prison by doing the things that they knew was wrong, like killing, stealing, molesting our young kids and probably everything under the sun, so I in no way what so ever feel the least bit sorry how they live in prison or how they're housed in a DAM! prison. I guess we would have to go through a 3rd world country lawlessness crime spree before someone realize releasing these animals back into society was a bad idea, and how many lives will we lose in this decision, to release thousands of criminals back into our communities?. How about we send them to other state prisons where it's less crowding, like they wanted to do before. Who cares I certainly don't, because if it was up to me I'd put ten of them in one cell and let the strong survive, I know it's cruel, but when you've had one of these criminals to destroy your life and your families life then you'll understand where I'm coming from.

I think the US Supreme Court may not look so kindly on California. After all California ignored 77 court orders to fix the prison system. This is NOT a new issue as most people who know nothing of the system seem to think. California and it's legislature have had 12 years of court orders to confront this issue. It was not until the Federal 3 Judge Panel finally got fed up with California's arrogance and deliberate indifference to the inhumane treatment of prisoners going on in our prisons that they were forced to act. People were up in arms about Abu Greib sp? but much worse is taking place daily in our own country in our own prisons. I don't get it. It seems to be the norm for our countries administrators to care more about the treatment of humans in other countries than we do our own citizens. I truly wish that many of the posters would actually try to educate themselves before making derrogatory comments about inmates. They are not all murderer rapists like they want to imagine. Many are normal young men who on a whim did something incredibly stupid. We don't allow young people to make mistakes anymore as we did when we were growing up. It is a sad state of affairs.

Here is a report done by the State Legislature that they completely ignored:
http://ucicorrections.seweb.uci.edu/pdf/Expert_Panel_Report.pdf

Here is the Little Hoover Report:
http://www.lhc.ca.gov/studies/185/report185.html

The notion that they are RELEASING 27,000 is completely inacurate yet people keep perpetuating the lie. The order that the 3 Judge Panel put forth that REDUCES THE POPULATION BY 40,000 is very well thought out and public saftey is at the forefront. Even Matt Cate, CDCR Secretary put out a decent proposal that does much of the same at a lesser degree. People need to stop being ignorant about this topic and making statements that are completely baseless and factless for that matter. Please do everyone a favor and do some reading and then make your judgements.

I posted this yesterday, what happened?

I think the US Supreme Court may not look so kindly on California. After all California ignored 77 court orders to fix the prison system. This is NOT a new issue as most people who know nothing of the system seem to think. California and it's legislature have had 12 years of court orders to confront this issue. It was not until the Federal 3 Judge Panel finally got fed up with California's arrogance and deliberate indifference to the inhumane treatment of prisoners going on in our prisons that they were forced to act. People were up in arms about Abu Greib sp? but much worse is taking place daily in our own country in our own prisons. I don't get it. It seems to be the norm for our countries administrators to care more about the treatment of humans in other countries than we do our own citizens. I truly wish that many of the posters would actually try to educate themselves before making derrogatory comments about inmates. They are not all murderer rapists like they want to imagine. Many are normal young men who on a whim did something incredibly stupid. We don't allow young people to make mistakes anymore as we did when we were growing up. It is a sad state of affairs.
Here is a report done by the State Legislature that they completely ignored:
http://ucicorrections.seweb.uci.edu/pdf/Expert_Panel_Report.pdf
Here is the Little Hoover Report:
http://www.lhc.ca.gov/studies/185/report185.html
The notion that they are RELEASING 27,000 is completely inacurate yet people keep perpetuating the lie. The order that the 3 Judge Panel put forth that REDUCES THE POPULATION BY 40,000 is very well thought out and public saftey is at the forefront. Even Matt Cate, CDCR Secretary put out a decent proposal that does much of the same at a lesser degree. People need to stop being ignorant about this topic and making statements that are completely baseless and factless for that matter. Please do everyone a favor and do some reading and then make your judgements.
__________________

Release them because the sentencing laws in California are unconstitutional and they are not fair or just. A murderer will spend less time behind bars then a 3 striker. The law is not enforced as it was sold to the voters. But, like you said, if you voted for it and want to keep "EVERYONE" locked up for life, then fine - then there are those like me who will make sure you PAY FOR EVERYTHING the prisoner needs and you ABIDE by the constitution to protect thier rights (we live in America). Bet your A** I will.

A Lifers Wife


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