California governor Jerry Brown is expected to redouble his emphasis on shifting inmates to county prisons in order to comply with a Supreme Court decision ordering the state to curtail its prison population.
California's prisons are over capacity by more than 60,000 prisoners, and the Supreme Court ruled last month that conditions there violate basic constitutional rights. The court ordered California to remedy the problem by shedding some 33,000 prisoners, and Brown is expected to file papers today announcing his intent to comply with the court's decision by shifting the inmate burden to county jails.
Brown has already signed legislation that would enable the shift but funding for the measure is held up by an impasse in the state legislature, where Republicans have refused to approve taxes that would pay for it. A press release from California's Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shortly after the Supreme Court Decision stressed that the agency could not enforce the Supreme Court decision unless the state allocates the necessary funding.
We particularly need the support and cooperation of the Legislature with the immediate funding and implementation of AB 109, the Public Safety Realignment plan signed by Governor Brown on April 4, secretary Matthew Cate wrote. The Governor has repeatedly called for full and constitutionally protected funding of this bill to allow certain offenders to serve their incarceration and parole term under local supervision.
The court gave California two years to comply with the decision, although Brown suggested recently that that may not be enough time.
It's going to take more than two years. I have to talk to my lawyers, he said.