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Clock's ticking on prison reform

March 05, 2007

Re "No escape," editorial, Feb. 26

Many of California's prison problems are the result of years of legislative gridlock on prison reforms. The causes of our prison crisis are complex, and the solution to them must be comprehensive. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger inherited an overcrowding crisis and has declared a state of emergency. He is keenly focused on achieving comprehensive prison reforms this year and has brought forward a legislative overhaul that should be acted on with urgency. In the interest of public safety, the governor's office is advancing these reforms as part of the state budget, which is expected to be voted on by this summer. It is imperative that the Legislature take action on the governor's reforms before the situation gets any worse. With courts threatening to take over the prison system and considering forcing the early release of inmates, time is of the essence.

JIM TILTON

Secretary

Department of Corrections

and Rehabilitation

Sacramento

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