Officials Submit Plan To Curb Prison Crowding; Proposal Lacks Funding
However, the proposal does not include details on how the state will pay for its plan to reduce the prison population (Mintz, San Jose Mercury News, 6/7).
Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 ruling ordered California to reduce its prison population by more than 33,000 inmates.
The court upheld the 2009 decision of the federal three-judge panel, which found that that California's prisons were so overcrowded that they violated constitutional standards for medical and mental health care.
The Supreme Court justices noted that the state's prison system houses almost twice as many inmates as it was designed to hold. According to the ruling, overcrowding has contributed to "grossly inadequate provision of medical and mental health care" (California Healthline, 5/24).
Details of State's Plan
Matthew Cate -- secretary of the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation -- said the state must start work immediately to meet a November deadline to reduce its prison population by 10,000 inmates. The November deadline precedes two other benchmarks in 2012 and 2013.
As part of his plan to comply with the inmate reduction order, Brown aims to increase prison capacity (Dolan, Los Angeles Times, 6/8).
The governor also intends to shift tens of thousands of inmates to county jails and already has signed a bill (AB 109) authorizing the move.
Hurdles to the Plan
However, Brown's plan to shift prison inmates relies on funding from his budget proposal, which calls for an extension of certain taxes (Stanton, Sacramento Bee, 6/8).
Republican lawmakers have refused to support Brown's tax extensions, leaving the inmate transfer plan without funding (San Jose Mercury News, 6/7).
Brown said, "If we don't get the taxes, we will have serious problems with our criminal justice system." Last week, Brown indicated that he might request more time to comply with the inmate reduction order (Los Angeles Times, 6/8).
On Tuesday, KPCC's "KPCC News" reported on the state's plan to reduce its prison population (Small, "KPCC News," KPCC, 6/7).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.