Gov. Arnold Makes Prison Reform Top Priority
California Governor Arnold Schwarzegger announced in his State of the State address Wednesday he would reverse 100 years of policy and shift the focus of the state's penal system from punishment to rehabilitation:
Reversing a century-long tradition of allowing California's prisons to operate as fiefdoms, Schwarzenegger administration officials Thursday unveiled a new model that places one man in charge and aims to reduce crime by better preparing inmates for release. Under the plan, prison leaders for the first time in decades emphasize rehabilitation, marking a shift away from an era when punishment was the overriding mission.
Over the past year, California's prisons have been rocked by federal investigations, budget overruns, a videotaped beating of juvenile inmates, audits exposing waste and mismanagement and a federal judge's threat to place the adult lock-ups into receivership. Since his election, the Republican governor has expressed a strong desire to clean up the mess, visiting prisons and declaring that "the purpose of corrections should be to correct."
Gov. Arnold is ready to put his plan into action.
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