Potential gubernatorial candidate Abel Maldonado blasted Gov. Jerry Brown over the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal Friday to block an order for the release of state prison inmates, saying that if Brown had moved to build new prisons, the point would be moot.
“I would have demonstrated to the courts that I was moving forward with increasing capacity to hold some hardened criminals in California. This governor has decided not to do that, and now he’s got to release 10,000 more inmates,” said Maldonado, a Republican and the state’s former lieutenant governor.
“If I was the governor today, I would rather be held in contempt of court and sit in a jail cell myself than let 10,000 hardened criminals out of prison,” Maldonado said. “Crime is going to continue to rise because criminals are going to be let out, and they’re going to come to our neighborhoods.”
Maldonado was reacting to the court’s rejection of Brown’s request to lift a federal order giving the state five months to reduce prison crowding. The order, which the state has appealed, requires the Brown administration to remove 9,600 prisoners from state lockups by the end of the year.