Court order means early release for California inmates

Aug. 15, 2012

By Joseph Perkins

California faces a Friday deadline to schedule the early release of hundreds, if not thousands, of state prison inmates. The deadline was imposed two weeks ago by a three-judge panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which determined that the Golden State has made insufficient progress in reducing the nation’s worst prison overcrowding.

In May last year, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Ninth Circuit’s 2009 court order that California reduce its prison population to 137.5 percent of capacity, a level above which, the High Court agreed, constituted “cruel and unusual punishment.”

California made initial progress toward meeting the lower court’s June 2013 deadline, with the state inmate population shrinking by 4,000 a month as of last October, according to a Los Angeles Times analysis of state prison population reports.

However, monthly declines have since slowed to fewer than 1,000 a month as most low-level offenders — convicts sentenced for non-violent, non-sexual and “non-serious” crimes — have been turned out of state prisons.

That makes it difficult for California to identify a substantial number of inmates remaining in the state prison system who, as the Ninth Circuit panel put it two Fridays ago, are “unlikely to reoffend or who might otherwise be candidates for early release.”

That’s why state officials informed the lower court that California intends to petition for a higher ceiling on the state prison population of 145 percent of capacity, rather than 137.5 percent.

But even if the court approved the higher capacity — a doubtful proposition — it is unlikely California would even reach that more lenient target. That’s because the state is in the process of ending the practice, initiated in 2006 by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, of housing inmates in out-of-state private prisons to ease in-state overcrowding.

The Department of Corrections reports that there currently are some 9,300 California convicts serving their time in such states as Arizona, Oklahoma and Mississippi.

The state plans to bring all of them back to California by 2016, beginning with 2,000 inmates housed in an Oklahoma correctional facility that will be returned to this state’s overcrowded prison system by the end of 2013.

It remains to be see if California reconsiders its plan to end its contracts with out-of-state prisons in the wake of the deadline challenge it faces this Friday, and the considerably more daunting deadline that awaits a mere ten months from now, when the state’s prison population must be no more than 137.5 percent of capacity.

The nation’s worst prison overcrowding would not be so bad had the Democrat-controlled state government not bowed to pressure from the politically influential California Correctional Peace Officers Association (which represents prison guards employed at the 33 state prisons) to shutter California’s private prisons.

Indeed, over the past decade, the state government has cancelled contracts with Corrections Corporation of America, Cornell Corrections and GEO Group (formerly Wackenhut), resulting in the closure of seven private correctional facilities here in California.

Those private prisons would be most useful in helping the state to comply with the federal court order under the state’s prison system is currently operating.

32 comments

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  1. us citizen
    us citizen 15 August, 2012, 12:31

    And just how many of these inmates are illegals? I heard ALOT. How about shipping them back home. A bus ride has to be cheaper than feeding them.

    Reply this comment
  2. Edward Steele, Chief Investigator
    Edward Steele, Chief Investigator 15 August, 2012, 13:14

    The aliens already get shipped back via ICE—-none will be released. This is even true in county custoday. Once an inmate is senteneced/completed sentence/before release— he is sent back. Hundreds a day go back.

    Reply this comment
  3. Queeg
    Queeg 15 August, 2012, 13:30

    Teddy speaks the truth. There are various alternative universes for migrants….most of them are not pretty in spite what Big Sis reportedly is doing.

    Reply this comment
  4. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 15 August, 2012, 14:13

    Teddy and Queeg both speak out of the same mouth 😉

    Reply this comment
  5. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 15 August, 2012, 14:15

    The fact is 70% of inmates are there for drugs, not violent crime, and most should not be there, or for a much shorter period of time. The legislature and prison guards union went crazy with incarceration on steroids the last 30 years and this is what you end up with, life terms for dorks stealing a slice of pizza or a video tape.

    Reply this comment
  6. Ted
    Ted 15 August, 2012, 14:36

    the life sent for a third striker is not activated for a misdemeaner sleepy troll— theft of a slice of pizza or a video tape (who uses video?) is a misd.

    The crook would need the theft to be elevated to a felony— poodle—- you know nothing about almost everything you post!

    Love ya!

    Reply this comment
  7. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 15 August, 2012, 16:05

    Stealing a slice of pizza or video is petty theft, PT it is not a misdemeanor if it is the third (or more)conviction, it is a felony.

    Teddy, time to head back to that police academy and study a little harder, ok GED Wonder :)

    Reply this comment
  8. Ulysess Uhaul
    Ulysess Uhaul 15 August, 2012, 16:58

    WONDER Did you call yourself a GED WONDER?

    Reply this comment
  9. Donkey
    Donkey 15 August, 2012, 17:55

    The paradox of the Prison Industrial Complex(PIC) is the fact that the LE RAGWUS created this monster and now can no longer aford to feed it with taxpayer dollars. And then we add the fact that none of these released citizens will have a job to go back to either.

    Most of the people locked up should not even be there. We are labeling teens and young men from the ages of 15 to 28 felons for having a mutual fist fight! In my high school years every male student would qualify as a felon with that definition.

    We have gone from Around 50,000 California prisoners in 1988 to about 162,000 today. If you go back to 1980, we only had around 20,000 prisoners in our state. Even with a 25% reduction in crime we have seen the PIC grow at an exponetial rate that defies logic, unless you inject the LE RAGWUS card into the game.

    I say let every prisoner out, with the exception of Rapists, molesters, crooked cops, and politicians. :)

    Reply this comment
  10. Donkey
    Donkey 15 August, 2012, 17:57

    Rex, again you make the uneducated bow at your words!! :)

    Reply this comment
  11. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 15 August, 2012, 18:10

    Two of a kind. Drone on…….ahhhhhhhh!

    Reply this comment
  12. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 15 August, 2012, 18:40

    Rex, again you make the uneducated bow at your words

    Donk, I have spanked Teddy and his sock puppets so many times my hand is going to need some rehab!

    Reply this comment
  13. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 15 August, 2012, 20:19

    Poodles never are rehabbed in a greedy righty world!

    Reply this comment
  14. Donkey
    Donkey 15 August, 2012, 21:21

    I know Rex, I had Queeg babbling after setting him straight on the history of Reconstrution. :)

    Reply this comment
  15. Queeg
    Queeg 16 August, 2012, 07:35

    Queeg keeps you grounded!

    Reply this comment
  16. Bravoman
    Bravoman 16 August, 2012, 08:51

    That case of the stolen pizza slice was not about a theft, it was about a strong armed robbery……The perp used fear and possibly force to take that pizza slice…that is a felony!

    Reply this comment
  17. The Rt Rev Ted Steele
    The Rt Rev Ted Steele 16 August, 2012, 09:06

    Bravoman— you’re adding facts— they just said stolen pizza– YOU added the strongarm facts.

    a slice of pizza, just stolen, not in the immediate presence of a human is petty theft. No one is in the joint for life behind that beef– sorry clowns.

    Ted

    Reply this comment
  18. Queeg
    Queeg 16 August, 2012, 09:12

    Donkey is a debunked history buff. Minorities were barred from voting in the South during Reconstruction…..the KKK ran wild…..carpetbaggers ripped off anybody for
    any reason stunting economic opportunities.

    Reply this comment
  19. Dirk
    Dirk 16 August, 2012, 12:58

    Cal. Pen. Code Section 666, petty theft with a prior is a “wobbler,” which means it can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or felony, and if the offender has a record, it is always prosecuted as a felony.

    Reply this comment
  20. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 16 August, 2012, 13:06

    That case of the stolen pizza slice was not about a theft, it was about a strong armed robbery……The perp used fear and possibly force to take that pizza slice…that is a felony!

    LOL..anoher GED cop who is playing Perry mason, between you and Teddy Steals we have Matlock!

    Taking a slice of pizza ia petty theft. Petty theft is a misdemenaor. Petty theft with priors gets elevated to a felony.

    OK kids, schools out for today, it’s been real, its been fun, but it hasn’t been real fun :)

    Reply this comment
  21. Secyatlaw
    Secyatlaw 17 August, 2012, 16:02

    What I don’t understand is why the CDCR can’t seen to determine in any organized fashion what kind of support system these inmates might have upon release, early or otherwise. Some inmates are given bus money, motel voucher and meal voucher and a mandate to report to the parole or probation officer. If an inmate has a verifiable, acceptable support system in place, is that person not as likely to re-offend? Aggravating.

    Reply this comment
  22. FREEMYLUV
    FREEMYLUV 29 August, 2012, 08:39

    Ok… The realignment great idea… Well it needs a little fine tuning. They are letting out the wrong inmates the lowerlevel offenders, notice crime rates are up they know they will get a slap on the wrist if that. Let out the ones that have been in there a decade and really learned their lesson. Sad to say but all violent criminals are not serial killers. some people have been in there 20 years and would love for a chance… How about the Seniors dying in prison how many of them would commit a crime if freed?

    Reply this comment
  23. Andy58
    Andy58 31 August, 2012, 17:54

    I’m just a concerned mother. My son was sent to Arizona, Oklahoma, and now is in Mississippi. I am not able to see him as it is a financial burden to me.

    Reply this comment
  24. Darla Anderson
    Darla Anderson 28 September, 2012, 00:19

    Let our husbands and our children’s fathers go!!!!

    Reply this comment
  25. Darla Anderson
    Darla Anderson 3 October, 2012, 07:55

    Acting like taking 4-6 months off of an inmate’s time is the worse thing to ever happen!! Whether my husband is given any time off his last four months, HE WILL GET OUT, SO BE WARNED!!!!! His crime: an addiction to alcohol, and a marital dispute over toys in the pool gone really ugly.

    We have 7 children at home, six of which my husband chose to love when he decided to love me. Two of the boys are disabled with autism. Over the 3 1/2 plus change years that my husband has been incarcerated, we have lost our home, and we have moved as a family to Utah. My 6 yr old has had her daddy locked up since before she was three years old, and moved anywhere between 8 and 15 hours away from our family. Now that we are in Utah, he is even further away.

    I have had to work like a dog for all this time, working two jobs, suffering with high blood pressure and fibromyalgia and hypertension. I have aged probably 12 years. My work is still at the studios in Los Angeles, so I’m away from my family for a couple of weeks at a time. My husband, also, used to work at the studios. He is a skilled artisan craftsman propmaker and special effects man, who is also college-educated. He lives as a slave for the state of California at one of their fire camps that they are so proud of having, where the men make a dollar a day, or a dollar an hour if they are actively fighting fires.

    shepherds7 at 7:35 AM October 3, 2012

    So, get a grip, people. In fear and hatred, you citizens of California have convicted and locked up a lot of people who do not belong in prison. Hope they are not into vengeance. Loving your neighbor is not California’s strength of character.

    Reply this comment
  26. victoria
    victoria 17 January, 2013, 23:08

    This is so true. It affects the entire family.

    Reply this comment
  27. Portia Burton
    Portia Burton 19 February, 2013, 20:51

    I have written the Little Hoover Commission in regards to this muck by incarsarating the young men and women of this golden state. It’s not popular to treat humans in as an animal. This is currently a new trend for the young black men and women in southern California. Private corporations who invest into private prison facilities have recieve great compesatation. Our current economy has gone to hell in a hand basket. and have locked away black latino, men and women. This send the message to many americans that it’s not ok being other than white. this has to stop. Look and Chris Dorner issues angry, frustrated, and had faith, confidence in the fact that he was an American, how low can this system go. Then he was burn up I am of mixed heritage, but the one drop balck rule still is very much rappant a running wild. Just become Hilter and erase Black, Latinio, Jew and you will eat each other, becasuse that’s your very nature. I have not confidence that anything will be fair and Justice. We as a people have not come to far from the bibicial days.

    Reply this comment
  28. wags
    wags 22 February, 2013, 07:16

    For those that think that 70% of the personnel in the prison system are in for drugs and not a violent offender need to realize that Al Copone was taken on tax evasion. So, with that in mind, are you going to tell me that all of the people in on drug charges are non-violent offenders? Those may be the only charges that they could make stick due to various outside factors. I have several friends in law enforcement, and they tell me the real scoop.

    On the other hand, if there are individuals that are in for whatever offense, and they are serving their time in peace and show true remorse, why not release them early with more credit towards good time served. Thus, if they granted people that were good boys and girls in the clink with more of a carrot than a stick then they might find that the population goes down.

    Just a suggestion.

    By the way, any illegal needs to be deported immediately and sent back to the country of origin. Their country can pay to house them. Or we can send the bill to them for their care and feeding.

    Reply this comment
  29. Maria
    Maria 27 February, 2013, 16:48

    Prisoners are released with no job, no housing and $150. The State should provide jobs and housing for those prisoners if society expects them to succeed. A person with a record makes it hard to get employment. Sexual labeled offenders carry the scarlet letter for the rest of their lives. Unable to get housing they become homeless. Sometimes, their offense, was to go to be with their 16 and a half year old, while they had already turned 18. Or being black out drunk in a party and not remembering what if any happened.
    Again, we spend $50,000 per prisoner to keep them locked up and we do not want to spend half of that amount to keep them from going back to prison and keeping the communities safe, by making them better citizens.

    Reply this comment
  30. Gena
    Gena 13 March, 2013, 14:25

    I was wondering if anyone knows what prisons in AZ except CA inmates?

    Reply this comment
  31. qlove
    qlove 24 April, 2013, 20:45

    Its very easy for people to speak and judge who don’t have loved ones in prison not all inmates are in prison for rape and other crimes such as that those people do deserve to be there but there a lot that should and need to come home already those ones who have a year or two left should be released thats nothing compared to a 10 or 5 year sentience they done I think by then its enough time so before u judge please understand. There’s a movie called Mario story about a innocent man who waste a lot of time in prison its crazy how the courts are so easy to put away people but when they talk about early release they don’t want to hear it ..thank you for ur time god bless

    Reply this comment
  32. Abby
    Abby 16 April, 2014, 17:26

    Its so sad how people see the negativity of these inmates. Remember that these inmates have families there sons, brothers, fathers,& husbands there human beings. Yeah they all in there because they committed felonies, but some are in there wrongly accused. My brother is in jail he’s a low level offender, yes he’s a gang member, but like some other inmates he didn’t kill anybody, he didn’t rape anybody, he didn’t kidnap anybody, all he did was carjack. And because of that he has to serve !5 years or more. Inmates like him that are not murders, rapists, kidnappers, or sex offenders should be let out and be given a second chance not these high level criminals who are a danger to our communities.

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