As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Friday, May 30, 2008

CA Prison Crisis - State Gets 30-Day Reprieve

The judges are bending over backwards to not do what they'll eventually have to do - cap the prison population because the failed leadership in Sacramento can't and won't arrive at a solution. Today they granted another 30-day extension:

Acceding to pleas for more time, three federal judges agreed to give the state an additional 30 days to reach an agreement for reducing the overcrowded prison population and avoid a trial that could lead to a mass release of inmates.

If no agreement is reached, the judges said, the trial will begin in November.

So, to recap - the state had months and months to settle with the prison advocates seeking to end overcrowding. It didn't happen, their "let's build our way out of it" approach hasn't led to the construction of one more bed, and they begged for time. The federal receiver asked for billions to make the prison health care system up to some sort of reasonable standard beyond what you'd find in a gulag, Senate Republicans killed the bond proposal and now this will either become another expenditure in the general fund or another reason for the judges to mass release. There is a way to admit nonviolent offenders into treatment programs and rehabilitation and work release but nobody wants to pay for it. And so the system is literally imploding on itself, because nobody will lift a finger to fix "ToughOnCrime" sentencing guidelines that are completely unsustainable and counter-productive.

Awesome, ain't it?

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