CA Senate Approves Prison Reducing Measures
Bump and Update: The proposal passed the California Senate today. It provides for the release of 37,000 inmates over two years and "includes measures such as house arrest and easing penalties for some crimes.."
Original post: 8/19/09
CA Legislature Vote on Prison Reducing Measures
A vote could take place tomorrow in the California legislature on several measures that would reduce the prison state's vastly over-crowded prison population. The proposed reforms: [More...]
.... would allow some prisoners to serve the last 12 months of their sentences under house arrest, reclassify some property crimes from felonies to misdemeanors and create a new sentencing commission to examine how sentencing laws contribute to prison overcrowding.
Altogether, the proposal would cut the prison population by 27,000 over the next year, saving $1.2 billion, and 37,000 over the next two years.
While Republicans oppose the reforms, it is expected to pass. Gov. Shwarzenegger is on board:
"We must find a way to cut costs and relieve overcrowding without sacrificing public safety," Schwarzenegger said Wednesday at the California Institution for Men in Chino, where a major prison riot occurred earlier this month. "Not all criminals and not all crimes are created alike."
Other proposed reforms:
Under the measure up for a vote in the Legislature today, parolees who commit such transgressions would be subject to "alternative sanctions," such as GPS supervision, rather than being sent back to prison.
Other changes in the package including cutting active parole supervision to cover only the most serious offenders; cutting an unspecified number of positions at the Division of Juvenile Justice and at the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation headquarters; and giving inmates time-served credit for participating in rehabilitation programs.
....The plan would also establish a new commission to examine sentencing laws. Members would be appointed by the governor and the chief justice of the California Supreme Court. The commission would recommend new sentencing guidelines by July 2012, and those guidelines would take effect the following year unless rejected by the Legislature.
The court ordered CA last month to reduce CA's prison population by 40,000. Will this satisfy the court? It sounds like it's a good beginnning.
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