Federal Court Grants Two-Year Extension for Reducing CA Prison Population

February 10, 2014 18:00 pm · 33 comments

A federal three-judge panel today gave Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration a two-year extension of a deadline for reducing the number of inmates in the state’s overcrowded prisons.

The judges said they were reluctant to extend the deadline, but were doing so because the state has now proposed a plan for a long-term, sustainable solution to overcrowding.

“Resolving the conditions in California prisons for the long run, and not merely for the next few months, is of paramount importance to this court as well as to the people of this state,” the panel said.

The court order was made in two long-running civil rights lawsuits in which the judges had previously ruled that the only way to correct constitutionally inadequate medical care in the prison system was to reduce the number of inmates.

The deadline is now Feb. 28, 2016, for the state to reduce the population of its 34 adult prisons to 137.5 percent of the capacity they were designed to hold.

Corrections and Rehabilitation Department spokesman Jeffrey Callison said that would require a reduction of 5,470 inmates from the current population of 117,634.

The inmate numbers were previously reduced by about 25,000 as a result of the state’s realignment policy, which shifts low-level offenders to county jails.

The extension comes with strict conditions agreed to by state officials. The administration, which has repeatedly appealed orders by the three-judge panel in the past, agreed not to appeal further or to seek additional extensions, according to today’s order.

The court will appoint a compliance officer, and if benchmarks for reducing the population are not met, the officer will have the power to order the release of prisoners.

The state also agreed to increase credits for non-violent, second-strike offenders, expand parole for elderly and medically infirm inmates, and consider establishing a commission to recommend sentencing law reforms.

The state was also ordered not to send more than the current number of 8,900 inmates to out-of-state prisons.

Brown issued a statement today saying, “It is encouraging that the three-judge court has agreed to a two-year extension.

“The state now has the time and resources necessary to help inmates become productive members of society and make our communities safer,” the governor said.

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Anonymous February 10, 2014 at 6:17 PM

Look victims : This is what happens when you elect Democrats . We have the most liberal court, the 9th circuit in the country. They love to turn criminals loose .Most judges in this ct.appointed by Dems.

gjets February 10, 2014 at 6:57 PM

Anything not to put the cons under county probation supervision under AB 109, what a joke in CCC, PO’s having cons write apology letters for violations instead of putting them back behind bars, what a joke and a waste of time!!!
Our Probation Dept. is a Joke!!!

jets February 10, 2014 at 7:08 PM

The apology letters is very true, my buddy is a PO for CCC and told me that’s is what the PO’s do in our county, what a f-ing joke!!!

jets February 10, 2014 at 7:09 PM

Oh you commited a new crime or got high on illegal drugs and just early released from prison, just write an apology letter to me the PO, it will all be ok.

Chevrolet girl February 10, 2014 at 7:15 PM

How about stiffer penalties that make you not want to commit a crime! If you are sentenced to death you leave the court room and head for the chair. No sitting on death row for years to come. These criminals get a slap on the wrist and set free. It’s a bunch of bs!

Interesting February 10, 2014 at 8:01 PM

I have zero tolerance for crime myself, but I don’t know if stiffer sentences keeps criminals from committing crimes.

It may keep them from committing “future crimes” if they’re sitting behind bars. But I don’t think criminals “think about the consequences.” If they thought about the consequences, they wouldn’t commit crimes.

They don’t think they’re going to get caught.

You Trusted February 10, 2014 at 8:03 PM

First ones on the bus to County were inmates with high cost medical maintenance and handicapped. Counties are also now required supervise most paroled prison inmates, wonder how many state parole agents moonbeam laid off?

Feckless state legislature took the easy way out and forced the state’s prison overcrowding problem down onto the jails of the 58 counties. AB109 due to jail overcrowding has turned into a get out of jail deal for misdemeanor criminals, those that break into your houses and cars.

State Senator DeSaulnier, Voted For AB-109.

Ridiculous February 10, 2014 at 9:24 PM

All these losers are winding up on BART; I feel so sorry for BART Police; they are busier than any other police agency thanks to the state and counties releasing these creeps early. FEDS NEED TO FIND ANOTHER WAY! Make them go fight the war, build roads, pick up trash, earn their own dam keep and something useful. These crooks should be paying for their own arrests, incarceration and court time, what is wrong with the state and Feds, get with it, especially if they are repeat offfenders. PRISONERS SHOULD PAY FOR THEIR PRISONS BY WORKING FOR THE STATE AND THE FEDS.

Princess February 10, 2014 at 9:49 PM

Go ahead and release them,place them in a house next to this judges, so I don’t have to deal with this criminals.

Dennis February 10, 2014 at 10:07 PM

@#6 stiffer sentences definitely reduce crime. Over 95% of all violent crime is committed by those with PRIOR FELONY CONVICTIONS. They commit those crimes within 18 months (avg) after getting out of prison. In a study of all state prisoners released in ’95, they committed 100,000 new violent crimes within their first 3 years “outside”. Want to eliminate 95% of violent crime?
Easy. Keep all those losers locked up an additional 3 years. Eliminate parole.
Prisons aren’t colleges, room and board paid by the state. They do not rehabilitate, regardless of the rhetoric of the Liberals.
They warehouse violent criminals, and while they are locked up, they aren’t committing crimes.

But they can’t vote while incarcerated … as soon as they are out, they can get welfare, section 8, free medical, etc … all they have to do is vote Democrat.

And that’s why Brown wants them all released.

Waldo February 10, 2014 at 10:13 PM

These prisoners should be making all of the crap we buy from China. Set up factories in dumpy areas like Stockton and get them supporting themselves while learning a new skill. I suppose the feel goods in charge would say that it’s inhumane.

Interesting February 10, 2014 at 10:37 PM

Dennis, I agree with what you’re saying, but you missed my point. My point was……I don’t think a stiffer sentence will keep a criminal from committing a crime in the first place. Not keep them locked up so they can’t commit future crimes. I already know that!

A 19 year old gang member who’s high on drugs will commit armed robbery whether it’s probation, 6 months, 5 years, or 15 to life. If he wants to commit armed robbery (or any crime), he’ll do it!

My point was someone with a criminal mindset will commit the crime regardless. THEY DON’T CARE, AND THEY DON’T THINK THEY’LL GET CAUGHT!

Elwood February 10, 2014 at 11:26 PM

Thank you Jerry Brown and the CA leg. for loosing this tidal wave of scum on us.

If your house is burglarized or your car is broken into or stolen, don’t even bother to call the cops.

Arm yourselves and take care of your own problems.

@elwood February 11, 2014 at 6:13 AM

Don’t blame Jerry Brown, blame the 9th circuit ct of appeals and the Democratic machine that appointed them. Clinton, Obama and the Dem establishment pick these judges.

Previous poster suggested moving the crooks into the judges neighborhoods. I’d contribute to a fund to do just that.

Duh February 11, 2014 at 7:52 AM

Turn loose the Mexican gang bangers and you will have lots more room…oh thats right, they are in jail because they are dangerous. Okay, escort them accross the border…Oh thats right, they will return in less than a week. Um…. any ideas out there?

I got it. Feed house and clothe them. In turn they can repopulate California three times over. Then, we can blame the suburbanites for wasting all our resources. The good news is, Liberals will continue to vote in more taxes and regulations to keep those working classes in line.

California Nightmare February 11, 2014 at 8:19 AM

The posters so far all seem to share the basic knowledge of the root cause: liberal democrat politicians voting to put tax money into “social justice” efforts rather than criminal justice.

Waiting to hear from one of our liberal friends to explain why AB 109 and the resulting serious overcrowding of our local jails is a good thing.

Lib....ertarian February 11, 2014 at 8:29 AM

@ California Nightmare – they can’t. Liberal policy is indefensible when you incorporate facts. That’s why so many just resort to name calling and insults.

Why are there so many criminals? February 11, 2014 at 8:53 AM

Why do so many people decide that being a criminal is better than having a job?

I don’t think there is any “one” solution. There are a lot of reasons why people decide to become criminals.

There may never be a solution. Governments failed attempts to resolve many of the crucial issues have only worsened this problem. People believe Government is the only answer. That’s why there may never be a solution.

PO'd February 11, 2014 at 9:24 AM

The answer to the issue is simple: BUILD MORE STATE PRISONS!!! We built quite a few in the 90’s, then stopped. It is far better to build more prison capacity than wasting money on a train that we don’t need. Or tunneling under the Delta.

In a state that has a bigger population than Canada, we are going to have to accept the fact that there will be a GROWING amount of criminal behavior. Many factors contribute to this trend, but the bottom line is we need to build or face the consequences.

Otherwise the current cycle will continue:
1-Let out “non-violent offenders” early
2-They will then commit more crimes
3- They go back to prison
4- See #1

Anonymous February 11, 2014 at 10:00 AM

If you don’t like whats going on because of loony left wing federal judges, remember who appoints them- Democratic Presidents.

Idiocracy February 11, 2014 at 10:27 AM

How about we bring back hard labor and re open Alcatraz! Maybe we can generate money by making ppv prison gladiator games lol joking. The real solution why so many ppl turn to crime is bad parenting, lack of skills, lack of education/opportunity and ignorance. You add in the fact that the Media and entertainment venues promote violence. Add rotten shows about 16 yearold pregnant hussies on mtv and its no wonder the generations coming up are so jaded/stupid.

gjets February 11, 2014 at 10:42 AM

Here in CCC, our Probatoin Dept. PO’s give the cons free bus passes so they can turn around and sell them for dope. Good job Probation and great thinking. The AB 109 unit is a joke here in CCC. My friend is a PO in this county and gives me all the news on what is really going on.

Get rid of welfare February 11, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Don’t get rid of a safety net, get rid of perpetual welfare.

There will always be lazy people, but being lazy is an excuse not an affliction.

iluvfriedchicken February 11, 2014 at 11:01 AM

I just started learning about prisons. One major problem we have right now is private prisons. They get tax money. They build prisons with it. But they also spend that money on political campaigns. And you know what politics they support? Take a wild guess.

Pat Brown's Embarrasment Son February 11, 2014 at 11:36 AM

“Why do so many people decide that being a criminal is better than having a job?”
Kids are going to use whichever skill set and morals they have learned. It matters where they learn those skills. Governor Pat Brown, moonbeam’s Father, had his entire political life one unshakable primary goal, to give the children of CA the best possible education K thru College.
What democrats and his kid have done to CA education is an insult.

Pat realized to survive in the world and become productive members of society you need a skill set that is in demand. CA for the most part does not provide children with a living wage skill set.

If they do not learn the basics at home and in school then they will learn needed survival skills from the streets and become a predacious burden upon society. In 2011-2012 school year 66,523 students dropped out and did not graduate high school, year before 74,101.
Both figures are unacceptably high.

I teach new hires and summer interns in my Union shop at work, have seen a decline in level of basic knowledge over last 25 years. They lack math skills, lack knowledge of things such as effect of compound interest on retirement savings and most problematic, lack a basic level understanding of logical problem solving.

Prisons are where emotional and educational failures of society are hidden.
democrats should be so PROUD of their failure to provide children with the needed in demand skill set.

Business has had to step in and create programs to train needed employees. One example, 25 years ago my company had to start an in house training program for electricians. That program has since been given over to LMC in Pittsburg and they have partnered with additional companies in our area.

Either educate children with a living wage skill set or be prepared to support or incarcerate them for the rest of their lives at substantially higher cost.

Shuley February 11, 2014 at 11:41 AM

Okay geniuses. I haven’t posted here much lately but read this thread and had to add some FACTS to it. The final decision on the prisoner release was ordered by the US SUPREME COURT. Not the district court. Their decision was appealed to the SCOTUS and Brown has been fighting it. The suit that prompted this release was filed before Brown was elected. As prison population is at 200% of capacity, nobody really thought an appeal had a chance anyhow.

So, a solution to the overpopulation problem is…stiffer penalties? Do you even understand how stupid that sounds? We spend more on our prison system than we do on our schools. We have the 49th ranked schools in the US. We lead the country in prison population – a country that BY FAR leads the developed world in prison population. And your solution is to add more prisoners?.. Brilliant! The prison population ballooned thanks to the GOP led failed “war on drugs”. Don’t blame the democrats for those stupid policies. Great, put an addict in jail for 10 years instead of much cheaper drug treatment for 18 months.

Idiocracy has it correct. The problem starts at home and in school. We need to somehow address the lack of two parent families, poverty and a perceived lack of opportunity by our young people. As the gap between the have-nots and the have-everythings continues to widen, the problem will only get worse. So, keep the minimum wage at poverty level, make it harder for people to get college loans/grants, cut food stamps and keep jobs flowing overseas and just watch crime continue to get worse.

The Professor February 11, 2014 at 1:55 PM

Stop feeding them. End of overcrowding (eventually).

Elwood February 11, 2014 at 2:46 PM

@ @Elwood #14

Jerry had the option of building more prisons. He chose to dump this scum on us instead.

RANDOM TASK February 11, 2014 at 4:52 PM

People tougher laws …….LOL ….ROFL…..You have got to be kidding me. Do you not know where we live ……Do you not know who is running this circus. I can not believe all the ranting and raving all for not as the mere thought of any actual punishment in this grand woosie state actually happening. The reason why the infrastructure…gov programs….healthcare……jobs ……city pride …..and anything related to overall advancement in this state is never going to happen is because the state refuses to do anything about the influx of illegals and or other criminals running amuck and smashing windows and panhandling as well as scamming the state programs is because they lack and umph to actually do anything about it. when have you ever seen any politician ever step up and say NO MORE. They would never even say slow the boat we need to determine where this state is headed. More and more of it look like south of the boarder and they are actually looking to build more free housing and support em as long as the lettuce keeps rolling out to feed the vegans and bench jockeys who scream no police brutality and then scream foul when the police are nowhere to be found. Get off your high horse and realize it is you who have voted this state into despair for 40 years you have had your way ………wow worked out great so far

Anon February 12, 2014 at 9:05 AM

Release them next to the judges, congressmen and others who think this is a good idea. Oh ya, I forgot. Those people are so rich that they will never be impacted their poor choices. Instead it is the middle class who will suffer as a result of their bleeding hearts.

Don't Censor Me Bro February 12, 2014 at 12:47 PM

@ #2 – That’s interesting, the official records of our open courts do NOT reflect your unsupported claim.


Don't Censor Me Bro February 12, 2014 at 12:50 PM

@ #4, please supply the case number of the defendant who was sentenced to only write an apology letter when convicted of “A new crime,” if you are capable.

Easily verified…

Won’t be holding breath…

Vere February 17, 2014 at 11:10 PM

Igneran people yeah build more prisons dummest thing ever and wounder why there more crimimals when instead of building schols and resources it anther prison build spending money on stupidness instead of resouces that can be useful and helpful to everyone in there communites stupid Igneran people…its a good idea about time

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