Sources: Governor To Propose Prison Expansion Bill
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) is expected to announce a prison expansion proposal that will include funding for new medical facilities, according to sources familiar with the plan, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The plan seeks to reduce prison overcrowding, which prompted Schwarzenegger earlier this year to declare a state of emergency. The prisons are designed to hold less than half of the nearly 174,000 inmates currently incarcerated.
Sources say the plan calls for $1 billion in lease revenue bonds for the construction of medical facilities. The new facilities were requested by two court-appointed receivers, including Robert Sillen, the receiver in charge of reforming the state's prison system (Furillo, Sacramento Bee, 12/20).
Sillen said that he would like to build medical and mental health facilities with a total of 10,000 treatment beds on existing prison properties.
Schwarzenegger this summer followed Sillen's suggestion and proposed building two new prisons to house 10,000 inmates with physical or mental illnesses. However, the Legislature ended its session before approving the plan (California Healthline, 11/20).