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Senate Democrats' prison plan 'not responsible,' Gov. Brown says

August 28, 2013|By Patrick McGreevy
  • At a Capitol news conference in Sacramento, Gov. Jerry Brown, center, discusses a proposal to reduce California's prison population.
At a Capitol news conference in Sacramento, Gov. Jerry Brown, center, discusses… (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated…)

SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday quickly rejected a plan by Senate Democrats to seek a three-year extension on meeting prison-inmate-reduction goals and then to meet those goals by allocating hundreds of millions of dollars for more rehabilitation, mental health and drug treatment programs.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) offered his plan as part of a proposed settlement with plaintiffs’ lawyers representing inmates in two class-action lawsuits.

"It would not be responsible to turn over California’s criminal justice policy to inmate lawyers who are not accountable to the people,” Brown said in a statement.

“My plan avoids early releases of thousands of prisoners and lays the foundation for longer-term changes, and that’s why local officials and law enforcement support it," he added.

Brown proposed Tuesday that the state spend $315 million this year and $400 million in future years to provide alternative housing for prison inmates to meet a federal court order that the population be reduced by 9,600 convicts this year.

In offering his alternative, Steinberg wrote to Brown on Wednesday, criticizing the governor's plan. “Temporarily expanding California’s prison capacity is neither sustainable nor fiscally responsible,” he wrote.


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