Assembly Bill Would Change Gov. Brown’s Prison Realignment Plan
On Monday, Assembly member Ken Cooley (D-Sacramento) said that he has introduced a new bill (AB 222) would alter part of Gov. Jerry Brown's (D) prison realignment law, which aims to reduce overcrowding to improve inmate health care, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports (Thompson, AP/Sacramento Bee, 4/1).
In 2006, U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson ruled that federal oversight of the state's prison health care system was neededÂ after determining that an average of one inmate per week died as a result of medical malpractice or neglect.
To help curb prison overcrowding, the state implemented a plan by Brown to send inmates convicted of lower-level crimes to county jails (California Healthline, 3/20).
As of February, more than 1,100 inmates were serving sentences of five years or more in jails designed for stays of a year or less (California Healthline, 3/19).
Several counties now are facing lawsuits over inadequate jail conditions, including overcrowding and poor medical and dental health treatment for inmates (California Healthline, 3/20).
Cooley Discusses Bill
Cooley said that theÂ bill would send certain drug traffickers to prison instead of county jails.
According to Cooley, about 40 such individuals have begun serving their sentences in county jails since the state's prison realignment law took effect 18 months ago. He said, "These county jail facilities were not set up for long-term incarceration" (AP/Sacramento Bee, 4/1).He said that the bill is not a challenge to the prison realignment initiative, but is part of a discussion on how to improve the law (Gutierrez, Sacramento Bee, 4/1). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.