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Republican state lawmakers will appeal prison ruling

A group of Republican state lawmakers plan Thursday to appeal a federal court order that would force the state to reduce its prison population by 40,000 inmates, the legislators said at Capitol news conference.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the main defendant in the two inmate lawsuits in which the order was issued, will also appeal the decision, his aides said. The appeals are separate. 

The Republican lawmakers had previously joined the suit as interested parties. Assembly GOP leader Bruce Blakeslee of San Luis Obispo called the Aug. 4 order from the panel of three judges “an egregious overstep of federal power.”

The judges said the state must come up with a plan by Sept. 18 to reduce the prison population because overcrowding has led to healthcare and mental health care that does not meet federal constitutional standards.  One of the judges has said that in the past, inmates were dying preventable deaths at a rate of about once a week.

State Sen. George Runner (R-Lancaster) said the judges had ignored the state’s recent “huge investment” in spending on inmate healthcare, as well as statistics showing that California spends more on healthcare per prisoner, and has a lower mortality rate among them, than many other states.

“We believe there is constitutional care today,” he said. “We believe there always has been.”

-- Michael Rothfeld in Sacramento

 
Comments () | Archives (7)

I guess George Runner believes that one inmate dying at the rate of once a week from PREVENTABLE deaths to be constitutional care.
If you weren't handed a death sentence, then you shouldn't die from an untreated asthma attack, or have your lung x-rays misfiled so you don't find out about your lung cancer while another inmate comes withing days of having a lung removed that was completely healthy. Just two quick examples. This was in a women's prison - I can't tell you what happens in every prison, but I know a lot of us that have EARNED our freedom and payed our debt can tell you stories . . .
yeah, yeah, let the hate responses begin . . . :)

The plain reality being is that Californias crime base is increasing which will increase the prison population overcrowding, which will result in an increase in prison preventable illness, sickness, injuries and deaths. And as far the spending of the (taxpayers) money on "huge investments" on inmate healthcare, the higher the prison population the higher the "huge investments" on prison inmate healthcare will have to be made. Maybe i should become incarcerated to get good healthcare(smile)

We continue to criminalize activities that only 30-40 years ago resulted in a phone call to your parents and the threat of spending a few weeks in jail. Now, we incarcerate for years upon years, perpetuated by the Republican fear mongering machine led by George Runner and those who emulate him. If you are black or brown, don't walk the streets or drive your car. The white majority is afraid, very afraid, that they will soon be the minority, so by locking up blacks and browns, they will continue to 'run' things and stay in power/control. But the world is changing and the demographics moving. We are becoming a sea of so many cultures, way beyond those of our descendents, and I love the way that the youth of today blend so easily, without descrimination, without judgement by name or skin color.

@DOGROB1 - Don't worry, if the laws continue to criminalize everyday activities, you'll get your opportunity for free healthcare inside the prison industrial complex. It's just a matter of time!

Senator Runner helped push through Assembly Bill AB900, the $7.7 Billion dollar prison expansion plan. Is that the huge investment he is talking about? It doesn't seem to have reduced overcrowding. We do not need more prisons that must be maintained and staffed with expensive employees.

The unreasonably long sentences; unjustly denying parole to serious offenders who have served their time and are not, or no longer are, dangerous; replacing mental hospitals with prison time; and the overwhelmed, broken parole system are bankrupting the state.

We should try what Kansas is doing and evaluate people as individuals when deciding sentencing and release. That might have prevented the release of both the man who recently killed police officers in Oakland and Phillip Garrido who kidnapped Jaycee, AND it could save the many salvageable lives and families of those who are unnecessarily locked up for too many years at our expense.

California's recidivism rate is out of control and the highest in the nation. Prison wardens and other experts agree that rehab and job training would reduce this expense and wasted lives.

Sentencing commissions benefit other states. Why not California? There is too much fear mongering over repairing our prison systems!

Thank you George --- WAY TO GO !!! Send the prisoners to the care and control of Sheriff Joe in Arizona -- he's got lots of waiting tents and pink underware for these NO GOODS.
Walt & Betty Troth

WE HAVE BECOME A NATION OF INCARCERATION! WE SHOULD NOT BE SENDING SO MANY PEOPLE TO PRISON. DRUG OFFENDERS NEED REHAB AND EDUCATION NOT PRISON. IF YOU WANT TO PAY $49,000 A YEAR OVER AND OVER FOR EACH INMATE THEN CUT THE PROGRAMS IN PRISON. OH YES WE JUST DID, 9 PRISONS OUT OF THE REHAB BUSINESS AND WATCH ALL THESE PEOPLE GO OUT A RE-OFFEND. WE KNOW REHAB WORKS AND WE ALSO KNOW THAT 85% OF THESE PEOPLE GET OUT AT SOME POINT. LETS RELEASE HEALTHY PEOPLE BACK INTO SOCIETY SO FUTURE CRIMES DO NOT HAPPEN. WE ARE SO EDUCATED AND SO DUMB. IT IS CHEAPER TO RE-EDUCATE THEN TO LOCK SOMEONE UP!

More love and affection from the clowns who spend all day and night worrying and having panic attacks over the welfare of the scum and animals in our prison system.


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