The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

February 11, 2009
What to do about California's overcrowded prisons?

Update:  Click here to listen to the Insight segment on prison overcrowding.

I'll be appearing at 2 p.m. today on Capitol Public Radio's "Insight" show (90.9 FM) with host Jeffrey Callison and other guests to talk about the Monday federal court tentative court ruling that would limit California's prison population to 120 percent to 145 percent of capacity.  Today, the prisons are near 200 percent of capacity.

See photos of overcrowding from the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation here

If the ruling becomes final, California would have to reduce its prison population from 158,000 today to something between 101,000 and 122,000.

That means that over the next three to four years, the state would have to find alternatives for 35,000 to 56,000 prisoners.

The judges did not propose a one-time release of prisoners.  But they did propose several options to reduce prison population that would also save the state hundreds of millions of dollars. 

This seems like a win-win situation for the state:  reduce prison population and save a ton of money during a dire budget crisis.

What do you think?

You can read the view of The Bee's editorial board on the issue here.

 

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About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

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