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August 27, 2013

California needs to cut its inmate count, so it wants to move them to other prisons

  • $315M the amount California Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing the state spend on a program that would move prisoners to private jails or county jails—a response to a court order which requires the state de-crowd its prisons. Rather than releasing the prisoners—as has been done in the past—Brown is suggesting moving them to other spaces, a costly proposition which is far from certain to pass. source
19:21 // 8 months ago
September 29, 2011

California inmates hunger strike en masse … for the second time

  • first Roughly 6,600 prisoners went on a hunger strike in California, protesting the rough conditions due to lack of human contact. Officials said they would review their procedures.
  • then Officials reviewed their procedures, and decided, well, maybe there’s something to this whole prisoner-treatment thing, and said they would make changes.
  • now They haven’t done enough: Roughly 4,200 inmates haven’t eaten since Monday, despite the threat of punishment for inmates on hunger strikes. source

» Treating “gang members” differently: Many of the concerns the prisoners have with their treatment revolve around the fact that they were put into fairly extreme prison cells, designed to limit human contact, due to their perceived affiliation with gangs. One of the ways they can get out involves a process called “debriefing,” where the prisoner renounces his gang affiliation and discloses information about possible members — which has the effect of putting the prisoner directly in danger. Activists consider this damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t approach to handling prisoners akin to torture. “These are inhumane conditions designed to extract information from someone,” noted Carol Strickman of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, an activist group.

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22:46 // 2 years ago
May 24, 2011
The gates of California prisons aren’t going to be opened, and 30,000 prisoners aren’t going to walk out tomorrow. The court ordered a very slow, conscientious process that gives state prison and law enforcement officials compete discretion on how to accomplish it.
Prison Law Office attorney Don Spector • Pointing out that the process of releasing 30,000 prisoners in California might be a bit … complicated. There are some ideas, though, including having short-term non-violent offenders serve at the county level rather than the state level, which might ease the prison system’s burden. Gov. Jerry Brown signed that plan in April. Unfortunately, that plan hasn’t received funding from the state due to disagreements with the legislature on the issue. Other options: Finding a different way to fund the state-to-county thing, coming up with a new plan — or shipping off prisoners to other states. The state has shipped around 10,000 California to nearby states like Arizona, Oklahoma or Mississippi (wait, that’s not nearby!), and they might increase the number, based on the Supreme Court’s decision. Either way, this is a logistics nightmare. source (viafollow)
10:46 // 2 years ago