More Time Please: Deal Seeking an Extension on California’s Prison Compliance Order
Governor Jerry Brown and legislative leaders announced Monday a deal to seek an extension on the compliance order to cut California’s prison population by expanding rehabilitation programs. This approach is aimed at reducing the number of former inmates committing new crimes through health and informational programs. If the request for an extension is rejected by the panel of judges then the state is prepared to spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year to house inmates in private prisons.
The federal judges, who deemed California prisons unconstitutionally crowded, gave the state officials until December 31 to reduce the prison population by thousands. There has been a lot of controversy in the Capitol over how to handle the court order. The Governor’s original plan was to spend $1.1 billion over three years to house inmates in private prisons, county jails and other facilities. Meanwhile, California Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg wanted to extend the court order for three years, allowing the state more time to expand mental-health and drug rehabilitation programs. Both proposals did not adequately provide a working solution within the time frame allotted.
Featured image courtesy of [Luis Argerich via Wikipedia]