Response to Governor Brown's Plan to Address Prison Crowding

Friday, May 3, 2013

Last night the governor put forward a plan to reduce prison capacity by nearly 10,000 inmates.  The governor has indicated he would release some inmates who have not completed their prison sentences and house others in private facilities and fire camps. In response, Senator Huff (R-Diamond Bar) released the following statement:

“I am pleased that the governor incorporated several of the Republican concepts from our recent letter for keeping dangerous criminals in prison.  I also applaud Governor Brown for finally acknowledging the tremendous strain his public safety realignment scheme has placed on counties.  However, I do not understand why he continues to ignore reality with regard to creating new state prison capacity.

“It is a direct result of the years of obstruction by legislative Democrats along with Governor Brown’s own failure to utilize previously authorized bond funds for new state prison capacity that California now faces the early release of violent felons with grave consequences for public safety.  Clearly, the blame for this situation does not rest solely on the courts. 

“Unfortunately, it seems clear that the governor followed the legislative Democrats’ strategy of "planning to fail" with regard to addressing current and future state prison space needs in the face of aggressive prison litigation by early release advocates and projected California state population growth that will reach 40 million people by the end of the decade.  This crisis was entirely foreseeable, and the state plan to address it was disregarded by the governor and legislative Democrats.

“Protecting our communities and families should be our highest priority, yet it is clear that has not been the case as billions of dollars in state savings from shifting responsibility for more than 65,000 state prison inmates to counties has been spent on non-public safety programs.  Our communities should not be put at risk to save a few bucks to be spent on other state programs and increased state employee salaries and benefits.”

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