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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Steinberg prison plan advances in Senate

KCRA 3Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg’s prison plan advanced Wednesday through the Senate Budget Committee on a strict party-line vote, with 11 Democrats voting in favor and five Republicans opposed.

Steinberg’s plan is a less costly alternative to the one proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown, which calls for $715 million in spending over two years to expand California’s prison housing.

Victims’ rights advocates are split on the two plans.

Sonya Shah of Californians for Safety and Justice told KCRA 3 her group supports the Steinberg plan, which favors mental health and substance abuse treatments to reduce recidivism.

Shah, who told KCRA 3 she was a victim of sexual assault, said, “Public safety is not about expanding prisons. Public safety is about expanding services for victims and more services for actual offenders as well.”

But Dawn Koepke of Crime Victims United told KCRA 3, “The bottom line is, we need to ensure that these serious and violent offenders are not released onto our streets, per the federal court order. The governor’s plan ensures that that doesn’t happen.”

But an independent review by the Legislative Analyst’s Office found flaws with both plans for reducing prison overcrowding. continue reading...

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