Brown Signs Bill Extending Inmate Transfers To Reduce Overcrowding
Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has signed into law a bill (AB 1512) that allows county jails to transfer inmates to other counties in an effort to reduce overcrowding and avoid the early release of prisoners, the AP/San Francisco Chronicle reports (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 6/23).
In 2006, U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson ruled that federal oversight of the state prison system was needed after determining that an average of one inmate per week died as a result of medical malpractice or neglect.
However, judges in February granted California two additional years to reduce the prison population, extending the deadline to Feb. 28, 2016. The judges said no additional delays will be granted.
Under the ruling, the state will not be allowed to increase the number of California inmates housed in out-of-state correctional facilities.
In response to the ruling, the state said it would work to reduce prison overcrowding over the next two years in part by:
Making about 350 nonviolent second-offenders eligible for parole after half of their sentence is served;
Releasing nearly 1,600 inmates who meet certain criteria, such as having medical problems or being at least 60 years old and having served 25 years or more of their sentence; and
Accelerating good-time credits for nonviolent offenders (California Healthline, 6/17).
Details of New Law
Under AB 1512, a law allowing counties to transfer prisoners to other county jails that have adequate space will be extended for three years until July 1, 2018.
Assembly member Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay), the bill's sponsor, said the measure also gives counties additional time to build jail cells and adapt to the state's realignment plan (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 6/23).
In a release, Stone said, "It's important that counties have the tools to manage jail overcrowding caused by statewide prison realignment so they can better serve inmate populations and their families."
According to the release, the measure was passed with unanimous bipartisan support (Stone release, 6/18).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.