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Governor to submit plan to reduce prison crowding

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger tonight will give federal judges a road map to reducing state prison overcrowding that involves waiving some state laws so sentencing regulations can be changed and new private prisons built.

But the governor also will disavow those solutions as illegal, said Oscar Hidalgo, a spokesman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

An initial plan that Schwarzenegger submitted was rejected three weeks ago by the three judges, who threatened him with contempt of court for failing to meet their demand for a proposal to reduce the inmate population by 40,000 prisoners over two years.
 
With his new proposal, the governor appears to be trying to avoid open defiance of the judges without giving the impression that he is contradicting his opposition to their efforts in an appeal now pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The new plan, which the governor says would reduce the prison population by 42,000 by December 2011, will heed the judges’ Oct. 21 order to identify state laws that they would need to suspend to meet their goal.

Yet Schwarzenegger also is expected to tell the judges he does not believe it would be legal for them to waive those laws. He contends that it is improper for the federal courts to intrude into the state’s affairs.

U.S. District Judges Thelton Henderson and Lawrence Karlton and U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Reinhardt are overseeing two long-running inmate lawsuits on medical and mental health care for inmates. They have ruled that overcrowding has led to care so poor that it violates the Constitution, and in August they ordered Schwarzenegger to provide a blueprint for easing the crowding.

Hidalgo said the state believes the new plan will meet the judges’ requirements and the governor will attempt to win passage of some provisions of his plan in the Legislature, so the judges will not have to suspend any state laws.

—Michael Rothfeld in Sacramento

 
Comments () | Archives (14)

Just kill everyone on death row, export the illegals, and this will help reduce the population by a good chunk. it would be seen as a gesture of good faith.

I wonder if any of those clowns on the bench are planning on having these "nonviolent offenders" live in their neighborhoods.

Wait a minute, didn't GAS want to cut funding to CDCR at the State level, yet now he appeals for Federal funding due to his lack of leadership and governance at the State level. I, for one, want rehabilitation going on at our prisons. Right now he is proposing to take away teachers and admin who are people paid modestly to carry out necessary duties at the prisons. The teachers are helping inmates attempt to learn skills they could use as productive, helpful lives outside of prison...which is the goal for short term inmates.

God save the State from this wretched man.

I hope to receive updates about this. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is really doing good. Nice!

Remember our governor is from Austria, where his father was a police chief. This should explain (along with the prison industry being one of the largest contributors to his campaign) why he is so determined to build more prisons.

Someone needs to inform him that we have the largest prison population due to drugs. Legalize, tax, and get the corruption out of the drug industry as well as the prison industry.

We have enough prisoners in this country. Are we going to build these new prisons for the homeless on the street, or for the ones that think the government is shafting us? An example is Schwarzenegger taxing us before we even work and forcing us in advance to pay for CA government corruption. Do we get to charge interest rates of up to 30% like government is letting credit card companies charge the people? I'm on board if that is the case.

Look at the results we have for Schwarzenegger already? He has driven CA into the ground due to his ignorance of our government. If this man is ever allowed to run for President (most likely will be allowed in years to come), remind me to run for the border to become an illegal alien in another country.

I cry for the democracy and the innocent children lost in this country for greed!

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 call 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. To 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 education


Maybe the new gov. can get it done before its to late, if it isn't already

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 education…

i think he is doing the best possible job with the cards he is dealt with,you have to keep in mind his hands are tied with the amount of money he is allowed to spend. For the most part im sure he wants to rid of the hang ups that are in every government job but there is alot of loop holes to jump thru its too bad it wasnt black and white like every simpleton thinks were not all think alikes so theres always people fighting for progress and people that hinder it. seems like more hindering then anything.

Someone needs to inform him that we have the largest prison population due to drugs. Legalize, tax, and get the corruption out of the drug industry as well as the prison industry.

We have enough prisoners in this country. Are we going to build these new prisons for the homeless on the street, or for the ones that think the government is shafting us? An example is Schwarzenegger taxing us before we even work and forcing us in advance to pay for CA government corruption. Do we get to charge interest rates of up to 30% like government is letting credit card companies charge the people? I'm on board if that is the case.

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Well the prison overcrowding issue is now in Governor Jerry Brown's hands. Don't know if he can do much about it, since the Federal Government is in charge of much of the regulations. The states just have to comply, and of course pay.

Prisoner overcorowding is just too much in California i went to visit an old school friend arountd a month ago and he was telling me how they were sending some prisoners to solitary confinement for very minor things now just to give some extra space for all the new inmates. something has to be done i gotta say


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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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