Gov. Jerry Brown wants to end a 6-year-old program that has sent thousands of California inmates to private prisons in other states, although he may not get the chance unless he can persuade federal judges to revise an order limiting the number of inmates the state can hold.
The governor's office must submit a plan to the federal court by midnight Monday outlining how California will meet the court's inmate population cap by the end of the year. Continuing the out-of-state contracts is among the easiest ways for the state to comply, but that option is opposed by Brown's administration and by attorneys representing inmates.
The courts imposed the inmate cap to force California to improve medical and mental health care for its prisoners, a decision that has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. Brown wants to return the nearly 9,000 inmates to California over the next four years, a step his administration said would save the state roughly $300 million annually.
"Returning these inmates to California will stop the flow of taxpayer dollars to other states," Brown said in his budget plan from last year.
His proposal relies on federal judges allowing the state to keep an additional 6,000 inmates above the court-ordered cap, something the judges have not been willing to do so far.
The administration and the inmate advocates acknowledge that the trade-off for ending the out-of-state contracts could be reduced sentences for some criminals, early releases and new construction at existing state prisons. Those alternatives would be necessary to keep California's inmate population within the federal cap…..http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/01/07/3124934/calif-governor-wants-out-of-state.html#storylink=cpy