AirTalk for August 28, 2013

Governor Brown proposes raiding state’s emergency fund to keep prisoners behind bars

Is Governor's Jerry Brown's plan the best way to reduce the prison population in California?

Max Whittaker/Getty Images

Is Governor's Jerry Brown's plan the best way to reduce the prison population in California?

Governor Jerry Brown is still reluctant to release prisoners from CA state prisons to comply with judges’ orders to ease overcrowding. Brown instead is proposing that the state pay to house inmates in other facilities, including private prisons in and out of state and county jails. Brown’s proposal is expected to cost $315 million over the next year and $415 million for the following two years.

The plan is getting opposition from members of both parties. Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) said in a statement that Brown’s proposal is one with “no promise and no hope,” arguing that any plan should be focused on a long term goal of keeping people out of prisons. Earlier this year, three federal judges ruled the conditions in California prisons to be unconstitutional—mainly due to overcrowding—and ordered 9,600 prisoners be released by the end of the year.

What is the best way to reduce the prison population in California? Is it wise to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to keep these inmates locked up, or is there a way they could be safely released?

Guests:

Bob Huff, Republican leader of the California State Senate, representing District 29, which stretches from Anaheim to Diamond Bar

Ted Lieu, Democratic California State Senator, representing Senate District 28, which includes the cities of Carson, El Segundo, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach and Torrance, as well as portions of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

 


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