California is at risk of violating the first court-ordered November to cut 10,000 inmates, but lawmakers must pass tax plan.
November 28, 2011 is the first of four deadlines that the Supreme Court set in an ruling that required the state to remove some 33,000 inmates over two years due to overcrowding. The prison system was designed to barely holdy 80,000 inmates. Currently, California state prison now has 143,432 inmates, and this number must be dropped to 133,016.
The state cannot take action Without funding from the Legislature on Gov. Jerry Brown's measure to move some prisoners to county jurisdiction, despite the need to immediately take steps to meet the deadline.
According to Corrections chief Matthew Cate, if the state ends up with no funding and unable to carry out the plan, the courts can order to have felons released. We are out of time and out of room, he said. We're in trouble.
Gov. Jerry Brown proposed that the state pay county jails to take in low-level offenders instead of state prisons. However, sales and vehicle tax must be increased to make this plan viable, and lawmakers are still working it out.
If we don't get the taxes, we will have serious problems with our criminal justice system, Brown said Tuesday The state will suffer.
Republicans are not satisfied with Brown's plan, and are accusing the governor with scare tactics. State Sen. Sharon Runner of Lancaster said the plan should not be based on the hope and prayer that the voters will tax themselves.
Despite another option by an assembly Republican leader to build more prisons and ship more inmates outside of the state, neither would do as much to reduce the state's soaring recidivism rate as keeping low-level offenders in their communities close to education and drug treatment services, according to Cate.
Brown also proposed building more prison capacity and deportation of prisoners who were in the country illegally at the time they committed their crimes.