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Gov. Brown Moves to End Cap on Prison Population

Brown has moved to end a federal court order capping the state's prison population and another that requires intensive oversight of prison mental-health care.

Gov. Jerry Brown said Tuesday he has moved to end a federal court order capping the state's prison population and another that requires intensive oversight of prison mental-health care.

"After decades of judicial intervention in our correctional system and the expenditure of billions of taxpayer dollars, the time has come to restore California's rightful control of its prison system," according to Brown, who held news conferences in Los Angeles and Sacramento to announce the effort.

The governor said the state has complied with a federal judge's order to find ways to achieve further reductions in the number of inmates in the state's 33 prisons.

California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation Secretary Jeff Beard said the state's prison health-care system "is now a model for the nation."

"Independent expert reviews have found that California's prison medical and mental health care systems meet constitutional standards," he said. "It would be both unnecessary and unsafe for the courts to order further inmate reductions."

Brown also announced that he has signed a proclamation ending the prison overcrowding emergency that has been in place since 2006. The move will allows the state to begin in July to phase out the use of private out-of-state prison beds for almost 9,000 inmates.

A 1991 federal class-action lawsuit filed by state prison inmates alleged that California's prison mental health care system was unconstitutional. Prior administrations then entered into various consent decrees that set in motion judicial oversight of the prison system.

In the intervening years, California rebuilt its prison mental health care system, investing billions in additional treatment capacity and hiring hundreds of mental health care professionals, Brown said.

Brown said his office has filed federal court documents to end judicial oversight because the mental health care provided to prisoners now exceeds constitutional requirements.

In 2007, the mental-health lawsuit, along with another complaint involving medical care, was assigned to a three-judge court that determined that overcrowding was the primary cause of problems in California's prisons.

Two years later, the court ordered the state to reduce crowding to 137.5 percent of "design capacity." The U.S Supreme Court affirmed that order last year.

Since 2006, the inmate population in the state's prisons has been reduced by more than 43,000 and crowding is down from more than 200 percent to just below 150 percent, Brown said.

More than half of the population decline has taken place since October 1, 2011, as a result of Public Safety Realignment, the governor said.

A state budget watchdog group, however, said the latest filings are an attempt by Brown to dodge the requirements of the court orders.

"If people's lives weren't at stake, claiming that caging one and a half times the people our prisons were built to hold isn't overcrowding would be laughable," according to Diana Zuniga of Californians United for a Responsible Budget. "There are clear, safe ways to bring people back to our communities that would increase public safety and free more funding for social services and the education system the governor claims to value so much."

-City News Service

American Girl January 11, 2013 at 07:37 PM
The interesting piece to this is that Sherrif Arpaio (or however you spell it) gets voted by the people, so they obviosly think he is doing a job. I only say this because that is way Carl and Shane view things. If someone gets elected they must be good!
Jay Berman January 11, 2013 at 07:42 PM
Great observation June ....
American Girl January 11, 2013 at 09:29 PM
Shane, my post obviously went over your head. If you want to play the age game, we can play all day, Jerry Brown, Dianne Feinstein, Harry Reid, they are all ancient. Also, if you want to discuss bad things happening while people are in office, lets talk job loss while Obama has been President. Oh wait, non of that has anything to do with him or his precense. Whatever dude! Go ride your unicorn and stop this nonsense.
Roberto January 11, 2013 at 09:31 PM
If other states can house California State prisoners cheaper than Calfornia about 56,000 dollars a year compared to about 40,000 dollars a year or less. Why house prisoners in California?
Carl Petersen III January 12, 2013 at 04:48 PM
June 11:37 am on Friday, January 11, 2013 "I only say this because that is way Carl and Shane view things. If someone gets elected they must be good!" . . June, why don't you find the post where I have set that standard? My observation in the past is that you one can't be considered the "worst president or governor ever" when you have passed the test of reelection.
Carl Petersen III January 12, 2013 at 04:51 PM
Steve Newman 10:57 am on Friday, January 11, 2013 "the people did vote for Brown and Obama-both promising 'stuff'" . . Isn't this what politicians do? You don't think that the sheriff is promising stuff that he knows he cannot legally deliver but will excite his base?
Carl Petersen III January 12, 2013 at 04:53 PM
Steve Newman 10:57 am on Friday, January 11, 2013 "Obama will destroy the constituion and in turn this country by his arrogance." . . I think that the constitution is a lot stronger than one person.
Carl Petersen III January 12, 2013 at 04:54 PM
Steve Newman 10:57 am on Friday, January 11, 2013 "the people did vote for Brown and Obama-both promising 'stuff'" . . Isn't this what politicians do? You don't think that the sheriff is promising stuff that he knows he cannot legally deliver but will excite his base?
Carl Petersen III January 12, 2013 at 04:57 PM
Steve Newman 10:57 am on Friday, January 11, 2013 "Brown is just more of the same tax and spend." . . Apparently, not a universal feeling: "After taking office, Brown gained a reputation as a fiscal conservative." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_brown#cite_note-ABC1-9
Carl Petersen III January 12, 2013 at 04:58 PM
Steve Newman 10:57 am on Friday, January 11, 2013 "This so -called balanced budget you people are praising is just that- a budget, not reality." . . Who exactly are "you people." You addressed your comment to #Carl. Where exactly have I praised the budget?
Carl Petersen III January 12, 2013 at 04:58 PM
Steve Newman 10:57 am on Friday, January 11, 2013 "Brown is just more of the same tax and spend." . . Apparently, not a universal feeling: "After taking office, Brown gained a reputation as a fiscal conservative." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_brown#cite_note-ABC1-9
Carl Petersen III January 12, 2013 at 05:00 PM
Steve Newman 10:57 am on Friday, January 11, 2013 "Did the same thing last year and the revenues never came in, so cuts were made. This year they will just raise taxes" , , Where is your logic flowing from. If last year they made cuts how do you jump to the conclusion that this year they will raise taxes?
Carl Petersen III January 12, 2013 at 05:00 PM
Steve Newman 10:57 am on Friday, January 11, 2013 "that's what they do." . . Not according to your previous sentence.
Carl Petersen III January 12, 2013 at 05:30 PM
June 1:29 pm on Friday, January 11, 2013 if you want to discuss bad things happening while people are in office, lets talk job loss while Obama has been President." . . Might be a good argument if there had actually been a net job loss while Obama has been President. Facts can sometimes be a little inconvenient.
American Girl January 12, 2013 at 05:34 PM
Shane and Carl spin, spin, spin it anyway you want. Do you have any idea how many people are under employed or have dropped out of the job market completely? You both honestly need to pull your heads out of your liberal utopian you live in. Its scary and quite honestly pathetic! Geez!!!! No copy and paste and challenge me! Total dorks! GET A LIFE YOU TWO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
American Girl January 12, 2013 at 05:46 PM
Shane I have read other posts you have made and you claim to be above the insults and name calling but then you go ahead and do it anyway. Shane of course you are happy with life, you don't have to work and provide for your wife, we do it for you! Its easy to be a liberal, its hard to be responsible.
American Girl January 12, 2013 at 05:47 PM
Shane why don't you leave your computer and your stinky chair and go shower and do something productive for a change. Go to the park and pick up trash, or go work at the nearest food bank or homeless shelter. I think you need to give back since you take so much.
American Girl January 12, 2013 at 05:50 PM
I know that being naive is your specialty, but did you know in Texas it costs the tax payers only $17,000 a year to house a prisoner? Why do we pay for internet and cable for our prisoners? Heck , we already pay it for the 47% who are not in prison. Time to stop the bleeding. You would know nothing about fiscal responsibility since you are not a contributor to society you are a taker. Roberto and a few of us others are makers! We rock! Now go wipe your drool!
American Girl January 12, 2013 at 05:51 PM
Shane you asked me once how old I am , and I told you that I am younger than you. I will go up against you anyway , anytime with anything! I know I will beat you. You are a coward and a P%#$&Y!
American Girl January 12, 2013 at 06:09 PM
Shane why are you so obsessed with me? You are seriously scary and stalker like. Stop being such a creeper and putting my alias in your posts. freak bag!
American Girl January 12, 2013 at 06:10 PM
With children in my 20s I would be in my 60s?? How old do you think I was when I had kids ?? In my 40s?? LOL Its basic math moron!! Trust me, way younger than 58!! Loser!
American Girl January 12, 2013 at 06:11 PM
Trust me you are a coward. When anyone challenges you, you run to Toni to get her to block them. I know your kind.
American Girl January 12, 2013 at 06:12 PM
The A holes that give you a check every month that you did not earn!! thats who!! don't be stupid Shane, you are a nuisance to society.
American Girl January 12, 2013 at 06:13 PM
Now go wash yourself, I can smell you from here!!!
American Girl January 12, 2013 at 06:13 PM
A name like June. LOL OMG You are an idiot aren't you?? Is Shane your real name? Loser!!
American Girl January 12, 2013 at 06:15 PM
You wish I was in my 60s so you could beat me! Even if I was I would still beat you. I would challenge you to any physical race today, right now!! Bring it!! I bet I could beat you arm wrestling. The only work out you get is your keyboard and stroking yourself.
Jay Berman January 12, 2013 at 06:28 PM
This thread is so far out of control ... partisian bickering, insults, stupidity .... The simple fact is this state is owned and operated by the unions, the prison guards union is very powerful, prison guards in CA make a fortune .. read this WSJ article http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704132204576285471510530398.html Prisoners get excellent healthcare and dental ... better than what many people pay for. There is actually incentive to go to prison for some people .. Prison should be hell ... prisoners should pay for their crimes, it should smell, be nasty, no TV or Internet ... 1 phone call a week, .. there should be a good program to transition / rehab prisoners so they have half a shot at earning a living when they get out ... prisoners should be used as farm labor, private assembly manufacturing work ... instead of warehousing these people, they should be able to work ... bring back assembly work from China, get them to do something productive so they begin to have some pride in what they do ... And with that, I'm off this thread .... have a great weekend people !
Carl Petersen III January 12, 2013 at 06:47 PM
June 9:50 am on Saturday, January 12, 2013 "Heck , we already pay it for the 47% who are not in prison." . . And who exactly makes up this 47%?
Carl Petersen III January 12, 2013 at 06:47 PM
June 9:50 am on Saturday, January 12, 2013 "you are a taker. Roberto and a few of us others are makers! We rock!" . . Liberals promote class warfare?
Carl Petersen III January 12, 2013 at 07:08 PM
June 9:34 am on Saturday, January 12, 2013 "Shane and Carl spin, spin, spin it anyway you want. Do you have any idea how many people are under employed or have dropped out of the job market completely? You both honestly need to pull your heads out of your liberal utopian you live in." . . The facts don't disagree with your current assertion that "people are under employed and have dropped out of the job market completely". Much has to be done to improve the job numbers. However, this doesn't change the fact that your original suggestion that "lets talk job loss while Obama has been President" was completely false.

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