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Prisons Overcrowding

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 26, 1988 | TED ROHRLICH, Times Staff Writer
Los Angeles County Sheriff Sherman Block, in response to a federal court directive to control jail crowding, said Wednesday he will begin immediately releasing about 1,200 pretrial inmates being held on bail of $2,500 or less. Block, whose department runs the county's jails, pledged to release more inmates if necessary by shortening sentences of those convicted of minor crimes. "I am not about to place myself or county government in a position where they can be cited for contempt," he said.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 4, 2014 | By Melanie Mason and Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO - Returning to the Capitol on Monday after a four-month recess, state lawmakers are set to tackle water issues, prison overcrowding and a budget debate that will be shaped largely by the state's rosier economic outlook. Other factors will also affect legislative decisions in 2014: election-year politics, internal leadership battles and a continuing federal corruption investigation into allegations that Sen. Ronald S. Calderon (D-Montebello) accepted bribes to exercise influence on bills.
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NEWS
January 16, 1992 | DAVID G. SAVAGE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Supreme Court gave prosecutors an important edge in child abuse cases Wednesday, ruling that doctors, police officers or family members who talk to an abused child may testify in the child's place during a trial. In a second ruling favoring the government, the high court Wednesday made it easier for cities and states to escape the demands of strict court orders aimed at easing prison overcrowding.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 25, 2013 | By Patrick McGreevy and Anthony York
SACRAMENTO - The state and the courts have been at odds for years over whether California's prisons are too crowded, but a new ruling this week offers a glimmer of hope that there's a middle way forward, analysts said Wednesday. The big question is what the governor is willing to do. On Tuesday, a panel of three federal judges gave Gov. Jerry Brown a surprise one-month reprieve of their order to remove more than 9,600 inmates from state prisons by year's end. After long having shown impatience with Brown's pleas for more time, the judges indicated they were open to a longer extension if he and lawyers for inmates could agree on how to shrink the prison population for the long term.
NEWS
July 22, 1990 | PAUL DEAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
It is penal service hiding behind coy euphemisms. Work release. Celebrity diversion. Special programs. They are, in essence, chain gangs without shackles. "I sentence a lot of people to work with Caltrans," said a Los Angeles municipal court commissioner. "Because it is hard work that in the heat of summer becomes hard labor."
NEWS
August 19, 1990 | PATRICK McDONNELL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A densely populated, self-contained village--known to many residents as el pueblito de La Mesa --thrives behind four whitewashed concrete walls amid a busy residential neighborhood in this border city.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 2, 1988 | MYRNA OLIVER, Times Legal Affairs Writer
The Los Angeles County Superior Court, responding to charges that its foot-dragging on criminal cases causes overcrowding in the county's jails, Thursday released surveys showing that the proportion of jail inmates awaiting trial is actually decreasing and that the court handles cases faster than most urban courts nationwide. A study begun by Frank S.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 1, 1989 | PATT MORRISON, Times Staff Writer
Ted Peal knew the time would come when he'd have to serve the 14 days in jail. He had known it since the judge sentenced him last spring after the cops arrested him right in front of his house for driving under the influence. And this week, when the time came--well, something had changed. Time. Time had changed. Math had changed. Einstein was right--it was all relative. The 14 days in County Jail was no longer 14 days.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 28, 2001 | SCOTT GOLD, TIMES STAFF WRITER
There will be no pink underwear. Late last year, officers from San Bernardino County's Central Juvenile Hall, the state's most crowded youth jail, took a trip to Arizona. About to become the first in California to house juvenile inmates in military-style tents, they arrived in Maricopa County, Ariz., where Sheriff Joe Arpaio runs famously unpleasant jails, forcing inmates to wear pink underwear, eat green bologna and live in tents that outrage civil rights activists.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 9, 1990 | AMY PYLE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
No nighttime reading is allowed for youths forced to sleep in makeshift dormitories at the San Fernando Valley Juvenile Hall because guards fear that something as innocuous as a book or magazine could conceal a weapon. With the hall's population 45% over capacity, even the most minor fight has the potential for escalating out of control.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 12, 2013 | By Chris Megerian
Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a plan to address prison overcrowding, less than four months before the state has been ordered to reduce its prison population by thousands of inmates. Under the terms of the bill, Brown will ask a panel of three federal judges to delay or modify their order, giving the state more time to reduce the prison population by expanding rehabilitation programs. The goal is to use mental health and substance abuse treatment to lower the number of former inmates returning to prison for new crimes.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 9, 2013 | By Steve Lopez
In 1979, a man with a long history of mental illness robbed an Oakland department store and was sentenced to seven-years-to-life in prison. At the time, the average time behind bars on such a conviction was seven years. Thirty-two years later, at age 67, this man is still very sick, and still in prison. I've got in a request to visit the man, and I keep thinking about him as I watch the prison population drama play out in Sacramento. Gov. Jerry Brown and Senate leaders have been squabbling over the best way to deal with a court order to cut the ranks of inmates by another several thousand before the end of the year.
NATIONAL
August 11, 2013 | By David G. Savage
SAN FRANCISCO - Federal prosecutors will no longer seek long, "mandatory minimum" sentences for many low-level, nonviolent drug offenders, under a major shift in policy aimed at turning around decades of explosive growth in the federal prison population, Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. planned to announce Monday. "Too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long, and for no good law enforcement reason," Holder planned to tell the American Bar Assn. meeting here, according to an advance text of his remarks.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 7, 2013 | By Phil Willon
SACRAMENTO -- The leader of the California Senate on Wednesday said the Legislature would pay to house inmates out-of-state to comply with a federal court order to reduce prison overcrowding only if more money was set aside for inmate mental health and substance abuse treatment. Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), in a news conference Wednesday morning, expressed frustration with the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeal's end-of-the-year deadline to remove nearly 10,000 inmates from state lockups, and with the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling rejecting Gov. Jerry Brown's request for a delay.
NEWS
August 2, 2013 | By Seema Mehta
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.
NATIONAL
July 24, 2013 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy is in a position to decide - again - whether California's overcrowded prisons must release more than 9,000 inmates by the end of this year, but at the risk of sending some violent criminals back to the streets. Two years ago Kennedy spoke for a 5-4 majority in upholding one of the largest prison release orders in U.S. history, affirming a three-judge panel in California that concluded prisoners were dying from a lack of decent medical care because of severe overcrowding and the state's failure to act. Kennedy said the conditions amounted to cruel and unusual punishment.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 31, 1997 | TINA DAUNT, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Faced with continued jail overcrowding, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is pushing forward with efforts to place nonviolent convicts--many of them white-collar criminals--on a house arrest program. Sheriff's officials say they are prepared to send up to 4,000 convicts home with electronic monitoring bracelets, more than double the current number, to free up jail beds and ensure that more hardened convicts serve their full sentences behind bars.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 20, 2013 | By Chris Megerian
SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Jerry Brown has claimed many reasons for why he can't meet the court order to cut prison crowding, including state and local restrictions on reducing sentences or releasing inmates early. So federal judges, in another order released Thursday , said they would make it easier for him. "All such state and local laws and regulations are hereby waived, effective immediately," they wrote. The judges explained that such a step is necessary because it would be politically difficult to push an early release plan through the Legislature.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 20, 2013 | By Paige St. John, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - A trio of federal judges ordered Gov. Jerry Brown to immediately begin freeing state inmates and waived state laws to allow early releases, threatening the governor with contempt if he does not comply. Citing California's "defiance," "intransigence" and "deliberate failure" to provide inmates with adequate care in its overcrowded lockups, the judges on Thursday said Brown must shed 9,600 inmates - about 8% of the prison population - by the end of the year. Unless he finds another way to ease crowding, the governor must expand the credits that inmates can earn for good behavior or participation in rehabilitation programs, the judges said.
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