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Federal judges tentatively order release of 37,000 to 58,000 California prisoners

February 9, 2009

by Mary Ratcliff

Senior Judge Thelton Henderson
Senior Judge Thelton Henderson
A federal three-judge panel ruled today, Feb. 9, that overcrowding in California prisons is indeed the root cause of health care inadequacy so severe that it amounts to unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment. “[T]he evidence is compelling that there is no relief other than a prisoner release order that will remedy the unconstitutional prison conditions,” they ruled. The case combines Coleman v. Schwarzenegger and Plata v. Schwarzenegger, which have been in litigation for 14 and seven years – too long in the judges’ opinion to deny the prisoner plaintiffs their constitutional rights any longer.

The three-judge panel is headed by Senior Northern District Judge Thelton Henderson, an African American whose courageous rulings over the years and whose strategic guidance of this highly controversial and complex case through a political and legal obstacle course has made him a legend. Judge Henderson had ruled in 2006 that the state’s failure to provide adequate medical and mental health care is killing at least one inmate every week.

The ruling, which is tentative to allow all parties to “plan accordingly,” will free 37,000 to 58,000 California prisoners in the next two to three years if it stands. The state currently imprisons some 160,000 of its people in prisons packed to nearly double their capacity.

The prisoner cap, at 120-145 percent of capacity, would save the state nearly $1 billion a year. Suggesting how to safely impose the cap, the judges wrote: “[S]uch a population reduction could be implemented without adversely affecting public safety by adopting a combination of parole reform, diversion of low risk prisoners with short sentences, and good time credits. … [E]arned credits and parole reform would have little effect on public safety, and … may even improve safety by encouraging prisoners to participate in rehabilitation programs. Evidence-based rehabilitative programming could also benefit public safety by reducing recidivism.”

Although Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger himself had declared a state of emergency due to prison overcrowding in 2006, an order which remains in effect, Attorney General Jerry Brown has vowed to appeal today’s three-judge ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. This is the full text of the order.

Three-Judge Court Tentative Ruling

Having heard the evidence and arguments presented by the parties and intervenors, we will now make a tentative ruling. Although it will take the Court some time to review all the evidence that has been presented and to issue a final opinion, we have decided to make this tentative ruling in order to give the parties notice of the likely nature of that opinion, and to allow them to plan accordingly.[1] [1 Although we refer to the evidence in the record in this tentative ruling, we continue to reserve final rulings on all of the outstanding evidentiary objections.] (The term parties as used throughout shall, where appropriate, include the intervenors.)

We tentatively conclude the following:

1. First, plaintiffs have presented overwhelming evidence that crowding is the primary cause of the underlying constitutional violations. No party contests that California’s prisons are overcrowded, however measured, and whether considered in comparison to prisons in other states or jails within this state. There are simply too many prisoners for the existing capacity. The Governor, the principal defendant, declared a state of emergency in 2006 because of the “severe overcrowding” in California’s prisons, which has caused “substantial risk to the health and safety of the men and women who work inside these prisons and the inmates housed in them.” Pls.’ Exh. P-1. A state appellate court upheld the Governor’s proclamation, holding that the evidence supported the existence of conditions of “extreme peril to the safety of persons and property.” CCPOA v. Schwarzenegger, 163 Cal. App. 4th 802, 818 (Cal. App. Ct. 2008). The Governor’s declaration of the state of emergency remains in effect to this day. Moreover, in the underlying cases, the court found that the States have failed to deliver constitutionally adequate mental or physical healthcare. Those determinations have not been questioned in the courts that made those findings, nor has there been an appeal of those orders.

Under these circumstances, the disagreement between the parties cannot be whether overcrowding in California’s prisons exists or whether that condition constitutes extreme peril to health and safety. Rather it is whether overcrowding is the “primary cause” of the State’s inability to provide constitutionally adequate medical care and mental health care to its prisoners. We agree with the defendants that “primary cause” means the “chief, principal, or root” cause. We also agree that the delivery of constitutional medical and mental health care in prisons is a complicated and “polycentric” problem. As we have stated before, however, we believe that a polycentric problem can have a primary cause – a cause that underlies and affects nearly every dimension of the problem and that in this case must be substantially mitigated before the constitutional failure can be resolved.

Evidence offered at trial was overwhelmingly to the effect that overcrowding is the primary cause of the unconstitutional conditions that have been found to exist in the California prisons. There is, for example, uncontroverted evidence that, because of overcrowding, there are not enough clinical facilities or resources to accommodate inmates with medical or mental health needs at the level of care they require. There is also uncontroverted evidence that, because of overcrowding, there are not enough clinical or custodial personnel to ensure that inmates with medical or mental health needs are receiving appropriate treatment, are taking the medications that they need to take, are being escorted to their medical appointments in a timely manner, and are having their medical information recorded and filed properly. Additionally, as the Governor has stated, and as the California appellate court has found, overcrowded conditions – the use of triple bunks in gymnasiums and other areas not intended to be used for housing, for example – have “substantially increased the risk of the transmission of infectious illnesses among inmates and prison staff.” CCPOA, 163 Cal. App. 4th at 819-20.

The judges observed in their ruling that overcrowding, such as “the use of triple bunks in gymnasiums … ha[s] ‘substantially increased the risk of the transmission of infectious illnesses among inmates and prison staff,’” quoting a California appellate court. This is the California Institute for Men in Chino. – Photo: AP
The judges observed in their ruling that overcrowding, such as “the use of triple bunks in gymnasiums … ha[s] ‘substantially increased the risk of the transmission of infectious illnesses among inmates and prison staff,’” quoting a California appellate court. This is the California Institute for Men in Chino. – Photo: AP
Almost every expert who testified in the first phase of the trial identified overcrowding as the main cause of the prison system’s constitutionally inadequate medical and mental health care and as the problem that must be fixed before constitutionally adequate care can be delivered. Among the experts was Ms. Jeanne Woodford, the former acting Secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, who testified that it is impossible to get inmates necessary mental health treatment and health care exams when operating in the overcrowded setting of California’s prisons. Experts with correctional experience in states ranging from Texas and Pennsylvania to Maine and Washington testified to similar effect. Even defendants’ expert, Dr. Ira Packer, agreed that the primary cause of the inadequacy in mental health care is that there are not enough mental health resources for the population. He also concluded in his expert report that crowding is the primary cause of the problems at the reception centers.

The defendants argue that the work of the Receiver and the Special Master has significantly improved the conditions in the prisons, and that with more time the Receiver and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (sometimes referred to as CDCR), as monitored by the Special Master, can remedy the constitutional violations without decreasing the prison population. Although we agree that the Receiver and the Special Master have succeeded in improving some of the conditions in the prisons, no party has argued before the Plata or the Coleman courts that the unconstitutional conditions have abated. The Special Master stated that although much has been achieved in the past eleven years, “many of these achievements have succumbed to the inexorably rising tide of population.” Pls.’ Exh. P-35. The Receiver stated in a letter to the Governor and legislators dated July 24, 2006, that “[i]t will not be possible to raise access to, and quality of, medical care to constitutional levels with overpopulation at its current levels.” Pls.’ Exh. P-55. In addition, of course, the Receiver’s ability to help ameliorate the overcrowding is currently seriously threatened by the defendants’ actions to cut off his funding and terminate the receivership.

2. Second, the evidence is compelling that there is no relief other than a prisoner release order that will remedy the unconstitutional prison conditions. As defined in the PLRA [Prison Litigation Reform Act], other “relief” refers only to relief other than a prisoner release order “that may be granted or approved by the court.” 18 U.S.C. § 3626(g)(9). We would be remiss, however, if we did not take note at the outset of this section that California, like most other states, is in the throes of an unprecedented economic crisis and that the budgetary implications are of the most serious order. There are simply no additional funds that are currently being made available by the State to deal with the critical problem created by prison overcrowding.

The two cases underlying this three-judge proceedings have been in the federal courts for a very long time: Coleman has been in its remedial stage since 1995, and Plata, since 2002. The respective district courts have entered a number of orders short of a prisoner release order aimed at remedying the constitutional violations. In Coleman, the court has entered at least 77 substantive orders to defendants since 1996, including the order appointing the Special Master. Order, Coleman v. Schwarzenegger, 2007 WL 2122636, *2 (E.D. Cal. July 23, 2007). In Plata, the defendants’ failure to bring the prison system into constitutional compliance, despite reasonable opportunity to do so, compelled the court to appoint a Receiver. See Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law Re Appointment of Receiver, Plata v. Schwarzenegger, 2005 WL 2932253, *27 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 3, 2005). In granting the motion to convene this panel, both courts concluded that these orders for “less intrusive relief” had failed to remedy the unconstitutional conditions.

The defendants argue that the Receivership and the Special Master’s monitoring efforts constitute other “relief” short of a prisoner release order that could remedy the constitutional violations. But the defendants have opposed the Receiver’s work in Plata and are seeking the dissolution of the Receivership. They have also been unable to bring their mental health care delivery system into constitutional compliance at any point in the past fourteen years. Moreover, as stated in the defendants’ motion before the Plata court, “California faces an unprecedented and potentially catastrophic $40 billion deficit.” Defs.’ Motion 1) To Replace Receiver with a Special Master, and 2) To Terminate the Receiver’s Construction Plan at 11, Jan. 28, 2009 (Docket # 2039). Even if it were possible for the construction and renovation projects to proceed despite this deficit, they would take many years to complete. As the Coleman and Plata plaintiffs have been denied their constitutional rights for fourteen and seven years, respectively, the plaintiffs cannot be compelled to await the outcome of the efforts of the Receiver, the Special Master, and/or the State for an indeterminable additional number of years.

Given that the Coleman and Plata courts have entered a number of remedial orders, we are at a loss to imagine what “other relief” short of a prisoner release order a court could grant. A “prisoner release order” is defined broadly in the PLRA as “any order . . . that has the purpose or effect of reducing or limiting the prison population, or that directs the release from or nonadmission of prisoners to a prison.” 18 U.S.C. §3626(g)(4) (emphasis added). Many of the forms of relief that defendants and intervenors suggest, like parole reform, good time credits, and evidence-based programming intended to reduce recidivism, are designed to “reduc[e] the prison population” and thus fall under the PLRA’s definition of a “prisoner release order.” Others, like the implementation of the construction program contemplated by AB 900, may not be within the court’s general powers under the PLRA. Other forms of relief suggested by various participants are without adequate evidentiary support or appear infeasible as well as incapable of curing the violations presently existing in the California prison system. We therefore tentatively conclude that there is no relief other than a prisoner release order that can remedy the constitutionally inadequate medical and mental health care in California’s prisons.

3. When Congress enacted the PLRA, it contemplated that the federal courts would impose prisoner release orders only in limited circumstances. Congress, however, did not prohibit such orders, recognizing that they would, in some cases, be the appropriate and indeed the only available remedy for unconscionable and unconstitutional conditions in the nation’s prisons. Given the clear and convincing evidence presented here that crowding is the primary cause of the constitutional violations and that no other relief will remedy those violations, we tentatively conclude that the PLRA gives us the authority to issue a “prisoner release order” to reduce the overcrowding in California’s prisons.

We therefore tentatively conclude that there is no relief other than a prisoner release order that can remedy the constitutionally inadequate medical and mental health care in California’s prisons.

The more difficult question, in the Court’s view, is the maximum level of crowding at which the State could provide constitutionally adequate care. The evidence presented provides a range of asserted operational capacities for California’s prisons. We heard testimony from law enforcement intervenors that their jails begin to experience problems when the population is over 100% of design capacity. We received evidence that the Independent Review Panel chaired by former Governor Deukmejian recommended 145% of design capacity as the outside limit for California prisons generally, although that number assumed an end to the use of all non-traditional beds in programming spaces and did not specifically address services for the mentally and physically ill. We received evidence that AB 900 Facility Strike Team leader Deborah Hysen recommended that the population in any new facilities constructed under AB 900 be limited to 130% of design capacity. Plaintiffs’ experts generally agreed with that number as appropriate for California prisons in general. We also heard from Dr. Pablo Stewart, a mental health expert, that some specialized clinical programs should operate at or below 100% of design capacity. In contrast, as of August 2008, California’s prisons were operating at close to 200% of design capacity.

Although the evidence may be less than perfectly clear, it appears to the Court that in order to alleviate the constitutional violations California’s inmate population must be reduced to at most 120% to 145% of design capacity, with some institutions or clinical programs at or below 100%. We caution the parties, however, that these are not firm figures and that the Court reserves the right – until its final ruling – to determine that a higher or lower figure is appropriate in general or in particular types of facilities.

4. The PLRA directs the Court to give “substantial weight” to any “adverse impact on public safety or the operation of a criminal justice system,” before issuing a prisoner release order. The parties and the Court have therefore dedicated a significant portion of the trial to this issue. It appears to us tentatively that on the basis of the evidence, a prison cap at 120% to 145% of capacity, with some institutions or clinical programs at or below 100%, could be achieved without an adverse effect on public safety. Dr. James Austin, for example, testified that such a population reduction could be implemented without adversely affecting public safety by adopting a combination of parole reform, diversion of low risk prisoners with short sentences, and good time credits. Other evidence introduced at trial also supported the view that earned credits and parole reform would have little effect on public safety, and that earned credits may even improve safety by encouraging prisoners to participate in rehabilitation programs. Evidence-based rehabilitative programming could also benefit public safety by reducing recidivism. But such programming cannot be delivered given the present state of overcrowding.

Many of these reform measures are also supported by the State and by state officials with a commitment to ensuring public safety. The report of CDCR’s Expert Panel on Adult Offender Recidivism Reduction Programming recommended a combination of earned credits and parole reform that would reduce the prison population by about 40,000 prisoners. The Governor supported a similar set of reform measures in his 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 proposed budgets, and the legislature passed a bill containing similar measures in December of 2008.[2] [2These documents have been presented to the Court as part of Plaintiffs' January 23, 2009 Request for Judicial Notice. The Court does not now rule on Plaintiffs' request. However, we note that we will consider any legislative enactments or proposals by the Governor as relevant evidence in these proceedings.] We cannot believe that such support would exist if the adoption of such measures would adversely affect public safety. We thus infer from the universal official support for these measures that they are not likely to result in adverse public safety consequences.

The counties argue that they do not have enough funding to provide released prisoners with appropriate programming for reentry into the community. This, however, appears to be an existing problem regardless of whether the prisoners are released under the current regime or pursuant to the reform measures. More important, the Expert Panel found that, if CDCR were to adopt the recommended combination of earned credits and parole reform, it could save $803 to $906 million annually. These savings could be diverted from the current prison budget to fund community based programming, which would allow the communities to continue and expand the programs that they have described to the Court. We also note, for the benefit of the defendants, that, according to the Expert Panel’s recommendation, even if a portion of the savings from population reduction is diverted to new investments in community and prison programming, California could still save between $561 and $684 million a year. It appears from these figures that the State could easily fully fund all the community rehabilitative and other programs that would implement the recommendations of its own experts without expending any funds other than those regularly provided in the prisons budget.

We emphasize that a “prisoner release order” is a broad term that is not limited to the generic “early release” program that many witnesses for the defendants and defendant intervenors oppose. A prison cap of 120% or 145% of design capacity (or somewhere in between) could be achieved through reform measures that would not adversely affect public safety, and might well have a positive effect. This is particularly true considering that California’s overcrowded prison system is itself, as the Governor as well as experts who have testified before the Court have recognized, a public safety hazard.

5. Under the PLRA, any prisoner release order that we issue will be narrowly drawn, extend no further than necessary to correct the violation of constitutional rights, and be the least intrusive means necessary to correct the violation of those rights. For this reason, it is our present intention to adopt an order requiring the State to develop a plan to reduce the prison population to 120% or 145% of the prison’s design capacity (or somewhere in between) within a period of two or three years. The State has a number of options, including reform of the earned credit and parole systems, that would serve to reduce the population of the prison to whatever percentage is ultimately determined to be appropriate without adversely affecting public safety. It could also use the savings that will result from the implementation of a population cap to provide for any increased burdens on the counties. In fact, a roadmap for this type of comprehensive plan has already been laid out by CDCR’s Expert Panel. This would, of course, not in any way preclude the State from constructing more facilities in the future so that its prisons could hold more inmates. We tentatively conclude, given the evidence presented to this Court, that an order imposing a cap on the prison population and requiring the State to adopt a course of action to reduce overcrowding is warranted, and that it is authorized under the PLRA.

The Court may hold a final hearing prior to issuing its final order. It will in any event ask the parties and intervenors to submit written proposals setting forth the specific percentages and dates that they believe should be incorporated into the order regarding the ultimate population cap and compliance date, as well as any interim percentages and dates they believe the Court should include in the order. The State will also be asked to specify at that time, or before, the measures it intends to adopt to ensure compliance in a manner that will best accomplish the objectives of the order, including ensuring public safety. Comments by the plaintiffs and intervenors as to these measures are invited. Prior to the issuance of a final order the State and the plaintiffs, as well as any intervenors who choose to participate, are encouraged to engage in discussions regarding joint recommendations with respect to all or any of the above matters as well as with respect to a settlement of all or any part of the dispute at issue in this proceeding. In any event, the State is directed to consult with the plaintiffs and the intervenors as to any proposed course of action that would serve to reduce the prison population. The Court will accept reports by the participants regarding any settlement that the plaintiffs are prepared to enter into with the defendants as well as with any intervenors who elect to join such settlement.

The parties and intervenors individually are each requested to advise the Court within 10 days of this tentative ruling whether they would like the assistance of a court-appointed settlement referee to aid in their discussions and, if so, whether they would have any objection to the appointment of the prior settlement referees Justice Elwood Lui and Justice Peter Siggins for that purpose.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

Dated: 02/09/09

Signed: Stephen Reinhardt, United States Circuit Judge, Ninth Circuit Court Of Appeals; Lawrence K. Karlton, Senior United States District Judge, Eastern District Of California; Thelton E. Henderson, Senior United States District Judge, Northern District Of California

Senior Judge Thelton E. Henderson can be contacted at United States District Court, Northern District Of California, 450 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco, CA 94102, (415) 522-2067. If you are a prisoner or have a loved one in prison with a medical problem or situation that the prison is not resolving, report it to the federal receiver appointed by Judge Henderson: Receiver J. Clark Kelso, California Prison Health Care Services, P.O. Box 4038, Sacramento, CA 95812-4038, (916) 323-1923, fax (916) 323-1257, Contact_us@cprinc.org. Learn more about the receiver’s work at http://www.cprinc.org/. Bay View editor Mary Ratcliff can be reached at (415) 671-0789 or editor@sfbayview.com.

36 thoughts on “Federal judges tentatively order release of 37,000 to 58,000 California prisoners

  1. Anne

    How about spreding the convicted to other prisons that do not have a overcrowding problem instead of just letting them go and making us all possible victims…where is the justice.

    Illinois has a brand new prison sitting empty and if these people were transfered there think of the boost to that economey that would be. All the locals in that town could have jobs at the prison and the convicted stay where they were sent for their crimes. WOW what a brain storm.

    Politicians just don’t think of the big picture. I would be afraid and angry if I was abused or victimized by one of these released convicts…and you know if something happens (and that’s a given ) there are going to be lawsuits for the early release of the felon who did the deed.

    Think people and shout your views!

    Reply
  2. Ann Garrison

    I’d rather see any funds devoted to prisoner transfer and further incarceration devoted to prison re-entry for all the non-violent offenders imprisoned on trivial drug charges.

    However, under the circumstances, I’m afraid that the State of California will simply cut its budget by getting this many prisoners off its hands and its books.

    Reply
  3. Joann in California

    This is a travesty. By granting the undeserved early release of this many prisoners is a slap in the face to our Nation’s Criminal Justice System. All of the many tax payer dollars that were spent on apprehending and processing the case through the court system would have been allocated in vain.

    Law enforcement officers from the many police departments across California that apprehended these criminals in the first place did so in compliance to their sworn oath to protect and preserve peace in our society. The early release of 37,000-58,000 prisoners detrimentally minimizes the importance of the services provided by our law enforcement officers, government prosecution personnel, our judges, and other court personnel.
    The entire nation is in an economic crises and the release of this many criminals (of most who are probably guilty of drug or alcohol related offenses) will only exasperate the rate of crime as these individuals will most likely return to the same behavior which got them locked up in the first place. Leaving reform and rehabilitation up to these ex-cons is ludicrous – if these inmates were capable of existing in a free society without being a menace, they would have not been locked up in the first place.
    Respectfully,

    Joann in California

    Reply
  4. Joann in California

    …And another thing: I assume the release of these prisoners is going to result in a 37,000 to 58,000 rise in probation cases. In conjuction with the release of this massive amount of criminals, is there any provisions to drastically increase probation personnel and services? Who will facilitate the supervision and ensured compliance of each released criminal’s terms of probation?

    Respectfully,

    Joann in California

    Reply
  5. Pamela in Az

    Look people, is’nt anybody thinking of health. Hepatitis seems to be the main health problem, if not treated, then they die. Some people have loved ones that should’nt even be where they are, he was just ratted on so “Billy” would’nt get 22 years, instead the jerk kept his lips a flapping only to get 8yrs and money (lots) of it on his books. This Guy in prison, our loved one doesn’t do crimes, like break-ins or hold poeple for ranson, etc.. It would be a damn shame if he dies while in federal prison, and i’m sure there are others that shouldnt be in there either. He never hurt anyone, never has! just something for the public to consider.

    Reply
  6. Marco in Florida

    What the BLEEP? Are they kidding me? I understand now, CALIFORNIANS like to be victimized! Yes we can, I guess change has come ? good luck. Where’s the outrage, NONE??

    Reply
  7. Lisa in California

    By releasing these inmates, we are putting an enormous strain on our county and city police officers. The economy is already in such a bad situation and we have people loosing their jobs. The homeless population is increasing. Now we are going to release thousands of inmates on the streets that are already being populated by an increasing number of homeless families. This will not solve our problem; it will merely cause a ripple effect and create so many more problems. It would only be a matter of time before all of those inmates are back in the prison system again, and then what will we do? Release them again???

    Reply
  8. Sage

    My question is how is this decision going to keep the criminals from coming back to prison. Better than 85% of these people are repeat offenders, repeat returnees. They aren’t put into the prison system, barring heinous crimes, for one minor offense. The “average” California Felon has completed a minimum of 5, count em folks, 5 felony crimes and most have committed far more. And once they are in prison, they are catered to for every need. And if you think their already active criminal behavior magically disappears when they “do time”, please think again. This system completely facilitates their bad behavior and their irresponsibility. They were unproductive before prison and they remain unproductive upon release. And as far as trying to teach them to be productive human beings, responsible human beings, well, one cannot be taught unless that individual wants to be taught. And why would this population want to be taught when they have everything without working for it. Their philosy seems to be “you owe me.” We’re in deep trouble. Lock your doors folks!

    Reply
  9. DON,JONES

    SAGE AND EVERYBODY THAT THINKS LIKE HIM ,,MAYBE YOU SHOULD LOCK YOUR DOORS
    THESE ARE HUMAN BEINGS JUST LIKE YOU AND ME,THEY SHOULD BE TREATED AS WELL AS YOU OR ME ,

    Reply
  10. Sage

    That’s an interesting comment Mr. Jones, but, the fact of the matter is they are treated very well. They still are not being responsible for their actions and the system still facilitates that. And if you are believing all the junk being talked in the media, you need to do some more research. I believe that there is a great goodness in the human race. But we all must be responsible for our actions. Good or bad. The system is broken. Ignoring it or dumping more money into it doesn’t make it better. It just gives more opportunity for abuse, from criminal side and political side.

    Reply
  11. One Cali

    I heard there is a shortage in the military. Most of the inmates have experience with guns, put them on the front lines. Its a win win situation

    Reply
  12. save ca

    Don Jones,

    They get treated better than most Californians. Inmates get 3 meals a day, 2 hot and a sack lunch. They get yard which has exercise and sports equipment, along with a track. Housing is provided, electricity, hot water, soap, tooth brushes, razors, toilet paper, scrub pads, cleaning products, boxers, shirts, pants, jackets, socks, shoes, all linen, and the best thing CABLE TV. One of the channels runs new release movie so inmates can stay current on hot hollywood movies. If the inmates doesn’t have money on the books they are also provided stamps and envelops. Why might you ask an inmate doesn’t have money on the books? Because they do not program, ie WORK, or they owe a lot of restitution to their victims so they the have friends and family putting money on their cellies books.

    If the inmate has money on their books its $5 to see the doctor. If the doctor orders the inmate to see a specialist, the inmate is driven to a specialist and has an operation if need. All it costs the inmate is $5, that is IF they have the money. The inmate can put in a sick call slip and get medical attention within 24-48hrs. If the inmate goes man down, they are taken to the ER right away, by ambulance if needed. There are inmates that go man down 2-3 times a month. why you ask? Because they can, and they known the will get medical attention right away.

    All that being said, most inmates spend a majority of the day trying to figure out how to cheat the system. Inmates push paper ie file complaints on everything, with the hopes they will get money. $600 isn’t much on the streets, but in prison they can buy a new LCD TV, Nike shoes, cd player, clothes and still have a lot left over for canteen.

    It will be funny to see all of the complaints that occur from inmates that will get sent out of state as a result of this decision. It is always a handful of inmates that ruin it for other inmates……

    Back to Don Jones, What county/city are you from? When the inmates are released I want to keep an eye on the news there and see how high the crime rate goes. Lets see if your opinion changes

    Reply
  13. Chantelle Loveless

    I am truly saddened by the stupidity of others when they make comments here and dont have a clue what they are discussing. You would rather see your childrens education suffer than to see non violent offenders and technical parole violaters be sent home from state prison. PLEASE people get a real grip on our future. I believe that people should pay the price for things they do that are criminal but the current system in place in california is obviously not working on they would not be returning so quickly. I can assure you however that they do NOT and i repeat do NOT recieve better care than most californians and they do not have the state of the art equipment that you seem to be so sure they have at your expense. They are in prison and have certain rights. The same as youand I for proper treatment in a disease free area. If you have never been in a prison, please dont report that you saw it on TV… what you see on TV is for entertainment only. Go and visit a prison and see for yourself what they truly do have and dont have before you confuse other people in california who assume you do really know what you are saying is the truth. Life in california prisons is less than easy but many are there that dont need to be and the overcrowding in the state prisons is costing tax payers more money than you believe. Educate yourself with the facts and spread the truth about what really goes on inside the walls of a real prison. It might open your eyes about a few things.

    Reply
  14. save ca

    Chantelle Loveless,

    I repeat, inmates receive the same if not better health care than most Californians. For one, it costs $5 if they have it, if not, its on the taxpayers. That’s even for inmates serving life, but need to have knee surgery so improve their time in prison. What about a skin tag smaller than a pencil eraser on the side of an inmates eye? Why? The inmate has limited visibility, and doesn’t feel safe on the yard. Many inmates that have injuries from the streets and get them fixed while in prison, because on the streets they don’t have any form of health insurance. Ask them, they will tell you!

    That’s all going to outside medical, which means doctors, specialist, surgeons at hospitals and public doctor offices. So yes, state of the art equipment at major hospital with doctors the public goes to!!! The same you and I go to, for for free or maybe $5.

    It’s just a game, inmates know they can work the system. When heath care workers see through their BS, inmates push paper work saying they were not given proper health care. It’s also common for inmates to push paper to get medication or an outside dr visit and then refuse. On the other side there are inmates that get wheelchairs and canes and do not need them. During yard they are amazingly healed and can play basketball and use exercise equipment. However, if a cane is removed from the inmate playing basketball, paperwork is pushed and staff is didn’t respect his ADA rights.

    This isn’t from TV

    Reply
  15. Christine Thomas

    http://www.prisoncommission.org/statements/wright_victoria.pdf
    VICTORIA WRIGHT
    STATEMENT TO THE COMMISSION ON SAFETY AND
    ABUSE IN AMERICA’S PRISONS
    February 8, 2006
    My name is Victoria Wright. My husband, Jay Wright, died needlessly after serving 98 days in
    the California Department of Corrections.
    Jay was convicted of a white collar crime and was sentenced to 3 years of incarceration. We
    were told then that Jay would carry out half of that time and would beheld in a minimum security
    facility. Jay entered the Alameda County Jail on May 17, 2005, where he was held for about
    three weeks before being transferred to San Quentin State Prison where he remained until August
    15, 2005, when he was transferred to High Desert State Prison in Susanville, California. where
    he died on August 23, 2005.
    Prior to sentencing we completed all of the necessary paperwork and medical testing so that Jay
    would receive the proper medications for his existing heart condition. When Jay checked in to
    the Alameda County Jail, we provided them with his current prescription drugs, Norvas 5 mg
    and Ecotrim 81 mg per day. Immediately upon entering the system, all of Jay’s medications were
    taken away together with his items of personal property. After the first 24 hours, Jay was
    evaluated by the staff doctor at the jail who changed his prescription to Procardia in lieu of the
    Norvas. Jay informed the doctor then that he had already been taken off of Procardia 5 mg when
    he suffered his second heart attack. The doctor told him then that he would increase the dosage
    of the Procardia to 10 mg because Norvas was not available. Jay informed the doctor then that he
    brought his medications with him. The doctor responded that no medications or even vitamins
    are permitted to be brought in or sent in by an inmate or their family until after their initial 30
    day reception period. I, too, informed the authorities that Jay needed his medications and I was
    also told that they would not give him the medications we had provided.
    While at the County Jail, Jay was bitten by something to which he had a terrible reaction.
    Although Jay filled out a form requesting medical attention several times, it was ignored until he
    became very ill and the swelling in his knee became so painful that a guard finally took notice
    and got medical attention. The majority of the time Jay spent in the Alameda County Jail he was
    in lock-down due to rapes and gang fights.
    On June 6, 2005, Jay was moved to San Quentin State Prison. I only found this out by calling
    Alameda County Jail to schedule a visitation. It was then I was told he had been trans ferred.
    While in San Quentin, Jay was still not given his proper medications. Although he met with the
    staff doctor there, he was still given only the medication prescribed by the County Jail doctor.
    Jay’s first cell mate was mentally ill and paranoid. He refused to take showers, he talked to
    himself, he was delusional and was receiving no medication. When Jay asked to be moved, the
    cell mate attacked him, Jay defended himself and was placed in the “hole” for 5 days. Jay told
    the psychiatrist that interviewed him while in the “hole” that he preferred the “hole” over the cell
    inasmuch as he could sleep and not be afraid. The psychiatrist looked into Jay’s claims and Jay
    was transferred to another cell and received no reprimands or additional time.
    Jay was in San Quentin for 70 days. The reception time, according to what we were told, should
    have been 30 to 45 days. During the time Jay spent in San Quentin, it became clear that Jay was
    not receiving his mail. I would consistently receive letters from Jay requesting that I write and
    asking why I hadn’t. All the while I had been writing and I had overnighted the approval form
    for a visitation. I would not see Jay until July 29, 2005, for 1 hour, through glass and in shackles.
    I had not seen my husband for 53 days. This was a lifetime for both of us. We had been married
    for 33 years and never been apart.
    After my visit with Jay on July 29, 2005, I called every day to see if I could get a visitation
    appointment. Apparently there are only about 20 available visitations for those in the reception
    area that have been approved for visitations. I was never to see him again at San Quentin. On
    August 15, 2005, I called and was told that Jay had been transferred, however, they would not
    tell me where. Through a group, Friends Outside, I was able to find out that Jay had been moved
    to High Desert State Prison in Susanville, California.
    I immediately called High Desert State Prison on August 16, 2005, to verify that Jay had been
    transferred there and was then able to make arrangements for a visitation. I was able to fly to
    Reno, Nevada, and then rent a car and drive the 80 miles to the prison to visit with Jay on August
    20 and 21. At this time Jay has been completely off ALL medications for a full week. He told me
    that he had informed a guard that he needed his heart medications. The guard told him who to
    talk to. That person informed Jay to “get the f_ away and that he would be given his meds when
    they showed up on the computer.” Jay told me that he asked again on Sunday morning and they
    still refused to give him his medications. When I saw Jay it was clear that he wasn’t well. He was
    pale and thin. I contributed this to his lack of being outside since going into custody on May 17,
    2005 (over 4 months).
    When I left the prison on Sunday, August 21, 2005, I immediately went to the trailer outside the
    gates to check with Friends Outside concerning Jay’s lack of medical attention. They gave me a
    pamphlet and explained to me that Jay would need to first try to resolve the issue on his own and
    that any interference from me or anyone else could only result in negative repercussions to Jay.
    On Monday I mailed Jay writing materials, postage and money to be put on the books until all of
    his personal belongings from San Quentin could be transferred to him.
    Jay was never to receive any of his belongings or the package I sent to him. Jay passed away two
    days later on August 23, 2005. When my phone rang on August 23, 2005, at 11:58 a.m., my
    caller ID showed “High Desert State Prison” was the caller. I was thrilled because I thought it
    was Jay calling – it was not. It was the prison doctor calling to tell me that my husband had
    passed away. A few hours later someone else from prison administration called to tell me to
    expect a telegram and informed me that it was mandatory that Jay be cremated and the state
    would make those arrangements if I could not afford it. I informed them that I would take care of
    my husband.
    Jay was never a violent criminal. His life revolved around being a husband, a father and a
    grandfather. We always maintained Jay’s innocence. His incarceration was a result of a plea
    bargain that he entered into in order to put the entire nightmare behind him. While the entire
    series of events leading up to the plea bargain are irrelevant at this point, had we known then
    what a living hell Jay’s life was to become, we would have continued to fight the charges. Jay
    simply wanted to do the time and come home to his family. The State of California robbed me,
    my children, my grandchildren and everyone who knew Jay Wright of a kind and caring man.
    From the time Jay entered the prison system, we were left in the dark concerning rights, both for
    Jay and our family, what to expect and when to expect it and who to turn to for answers. I realize
    that while prison is a way of life for some families, it is certainly not for all. I have witnessed
    first hand the suffering of the families and children of the inmates. Children being shouted at by
    the guards for playing on the grass while waiting in line for hours to see their loved one with no
    other area for them to wait. Calling repeatedly (during the two hour window) just to try to set an
    appointment for a visitation in San Quentin. If you are one of the few to get through to set an
    appointment, there are a very limited number of spaces available for both reception and nocontact
    visitations. Mail never seemed to be delivered to Jay unless sent Priority Mail and then it
    took seven or more days. The heartbreak I felt and still feel when I read and re-read the letters
    from Jay asking why I hadn’t written when I had written him every day and mailed the letters
    every day will never stop.
    The treatment I have received since Jay passed away has been cold and uncaring. I was told there
    would be an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Jay’s death. I have written letters
    to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Judge Thelton Henderson, Mr. Roderick Hickman and Mr.
    Hurley. To date I have received a response from Judge Henderson, who forwarded my letter on
    to Prisoners Law, and Governor Schwarzenegger’s office passed my letter on to the Department
    of Corrections Health Services, which responded with a letter reciting the law pertaining to a
    privacy act. No response whatsoever as to how I proceed and how to find out what happened to
    my husband or if an investigation is pending.
    I would hope that if any good can come of this, that some changes be made in the system
    whereby non-violent inmates are treated with at least some level of compassion and given at the
    very least a safe place where they can meter out their sentence.
    Sincerely,
    Victoria Wright

    Reply
  16. Christine Thomas

    There are thousands of other stories just like these leading to death in CA’s prisons. Judge Henderson, who truly is a living hero has given the “trained incapacity” of the CA Dept of Corrections a decade or more to get it corrected, and their only answer now is to try to file a law suit to stop him?

    CA deserves to be broke! They keep passing abhorrent sentencing laws like 3 strikes, indeterminate life sentences that amount to life without because of the no parole policies, and the death penalty which costs ups billions over the last decade when it could be in the low millions if they had been sentenced to death by prison. So many act out of fear and lack of information passing laws that cut into their own pocket books, i.e. layoffs, furloughs, 10 percent pay cuts . . .are they kidding . . .who ever gets a 10 percent pay raise????? All because we want retribution over real justice . . . Invest in deterrance and training for at risk young people and adults, and save millions on the back end. And if you can’t and your only answer is lock em up, quit whining and pay the bill!

    Reply
  17. Dawn

    So many of you are spouting off what the media, the guards and mostly the legislature want you to hear. Have you ever spoken with a former or current inmate in the CA prison system or one of their family members?

    You should know the facts, the truths about really goes on in prison. I would like to know at what prison do they get to see a doctor within 24-48 hours? Of course nothing was said that they have to wait in a CAGE with several other sick inmates before they are seen. Or have to fight to get the medicine the doctor orders, or fight to get to see the specialist that they truly need.

    Cable TV is paid for by the inmate welfare fund, in other words money that comes from the inmates and their families. An inmate with no one on the outside to assist them won’t even have a TV because they need to be special ordered.

    I could go on and on about all ignorant comments posted here but the bottom line is KNOW your facts and be able to back them up before you run your mouth about something you clearly know nothing about about.

    The great medical care ……..has now cost my husband a non smoker, 38 years old, nobody fat what so ever and who used to workout everyday to lose 75% use of his lungs because of the great medical care he has NOT RECIVED. (totally treatable had he received the care he needed when he was first diagnosed)

    Believe this if you are a compassionate caring person and you knew what really goes on in prisons you would change your opinions, inmates are human beings just as are their family.

    I will be sure to pass on that all inmates should have a job so they have money on their books. Of course that might be difficult because most prisons don’t have many paying jobs and those jobs are snatched up right away because they pay a whooping .23 cents per hour!

    Those people in prison are someone’s mother, father, grandparent, brother, sister, son or daughter. Don’t believe for one minute that you couldn’t end up in prison tomorrow just because you were in the wrong place at the wrong time or because your ex girlfriend wants to get even with you so calls the cops tells them you raped her and threatened her life. The cops will bust your door down arrest you with no questions asked and all you can do is pray the system will work which it won’t unless you have a couple of million dollars to pay for legal counsel.

    I have seen this happen to my friend’s son and he had done nothing wrong but 2 years later he is still in prison. He a good job, security clearance, church going, wouldn’t hurt a fly starting to get out on his own he was 23 at the time she made the claims. Now his job is gone and he will have a felony on his record. Innocent people go to jail all the time and come out worse then when they went in, they will have difficulty finding a job which could lead them into a life of drugs or crime just trying to survive then our tax dollars can be spent again on send him to prison.

    CA has put itself in this all by themselves with “tough on crime laws” keeping people in prison years past what the matrix calls for and most of all they just continue to arrest people for non violent crimes such as shoplifting. They have done nothing but build prisons and then let the care of those prisons fall beneath the cracks. Now they have to pay for what they should have been doing all along, now it is just one big sum instead of having it spread out over 20 years. Mentally ill people and addicts have no place in the prison system because they cannot get the type of help they need to prevent them from becoming repeat offenders.

    KNOW YOUR FACTS

    Reply
  18. bofors

    I would really like to know how many of the people complaining here have every gone to jail for a few months or prison?

    If not, please stop making such ridiculous claims about how the inmates have it so good.

    Your ignorance is crime a too.

    Reply
  19. john

    the article clearly stated that an average of one person was dying for lack of medical care in CA prison system *every week*.

    thats 52 state-committed murders per year. your tax dollars at work.

    to the poster who wanted prisoners shipped out: more than half of all California prisoners are already housed outside California. And CA is not the only exporter of prisoners. The US has the highest incarceration rate in the world. The system is swamped.

    Nonviolent drug prisoners are what put it over the top. About two thirds of all prison sentences are drug-related.

    And what is this gigantic money-suck accomplishing? has it made even a small dent in the drug trade?

    absolutely nothing. it has had no effect. we’ve tried this for decades, and its just not working. Its also destabilizing the neighbors, like Mexico and Columbia, as well as reducing general respect for he law.

    But we do have effective solutions. Our recent tobacco policy has been sweepingly effective. without putting anybody in jail, making anybody homeless, financing gangsters or destabilizing neighboring governments.

    When we ended alcohol prohibition, we cut the gangsters’ financing off at the knees, and created a tax base for the US government, reducing our dependence on income tax.

    Our last three Presidents have all admitted to drug use (which means a whole lot more of them probably did it).

    Its time we re-evaluated the effectiveness of our drug policy. Its killing us.

    We are failing to solve the drug problem, not because we lack effective solutions, but because we lack the political will to use them.

    Reply
  20. Save CA

    Dawn,

    Have you been inside the walls of the prison? Not to visiting, but really inside the walls? You are talking the word of a convicted felon who could not function within society.

    Do you really understand the games inmates play? Inmates will do anything to get ahead on staff, family, friends, etc…. I have already mentioned pushing paperwork in a prior post. Another way is to write many women with the hopes of getting money on the books and visits. I have seen inmates write the same poem to multiple women talking about how much he loves them. When asked about how successful his scam was, he said he gets $50-100 on his books from each lady he writes.

    When it turns to visits, it can get dangerous if multiple women show up on the same day. I have personally been asked to turn one visitor away, because the inmate didn’t know his wife and girlfriend were showing up on the same day. He said the women would fight if they were in the same room and he didn’t want to lose either as a visitor. What does visitors mean? Distraction from prison life, touchy time if they don’t get caught, and lots of food (tacos, burritos, subs, hot wings, soda, candy, etc..).

    What an inmate tells his family and what is truth in prison is vastly different. For one, inmates want to make it sound like they don’t have enough of anything. The fact is, all basics are provided and a little more. The hommie hookup will double or triple the basics. But if an inmates makes it sound like they have what they need, money doesn’t show up on the books. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard an inmate tells his family he didn’t have enough, when in fact he had way over state issue and lots of canteen.

    As far a medical, I don’t know where the inmate you are taking about is located, but thats how it is where I am. Every yard has a medical clinic with multiple LVNS, an RN, a DR, and various dental staff. Inmates turn in a sick call slip, and they get an appt, thats priority. Inmates can walk up to the window and get seen after the the priority appts are seen. However, if its just for a cleaning and a bandaid the LVNs do it. Inmate can also pick up any medication that was ordered, that can remain in the inmates cell. Chest pains go right to the ER, as do any suicidal claims or major medical issues. For the inmates that can’t or don’t leave their cells, LVNs make med rounds to each building 4-6 times a day. Inmates can get sick call slips and ask any questions they need.

    The holding cells are for any time inmates of various levels are together, or conflicting groups (gangs). A level 4 inmate and a level 1 inmate shouldn’t be in the same room together. It’s for the safety of the inmates and staff. If an inmate was attacked by another inmate of a higher level, the state would be responsible for not protecting the other inmate. Hence the reason inmates are in holding cells. Do you not want inmates safe?

    I really suggest you try to understand the true situation, come work inside the walls. I guarantee you will be enlightened if you spent a few months on the inside.

    Reply
  21. silver john hall

    there appears to be an astounding amount of ignorance, predjudice and racism implied in most of the responses from the MEN. the WOMEN seem to have at least thought through their responses, perhaps through personal experience or through those in their communities or just plain common sense. of course, there will always be those inside who know how to game the system. so what? they probably had already learned how on the outside. a prison population at 170 percent of capacity is cruelty piled atop punishment. so is an indeterminate sentence. the parole system is corrupt and broken. outside services for those returning to the world at large are largely overburdened or nonexistent. drug laws are antiquated. and, yeah, i spend time ‘inside’ on a regular basis. read the entire report from cdcr/three judge report, then talk.

    Reply
  22. Lola McDonald

    I go on praying for the 3 Judges. That they will be strong and make their decision to put a cap on the Calif. Prisons.Yes I am the 83 year old mother of an inmate in Salinas Valley State Prison. God be with you all. And bring my son home.

    Reply
  23. Amanda

    Most of these people think that because some of these men are in prison that they are bad people. That is not the case, there are some men in there that are great people, that did stupid things like sell drugs to support for there families. Any parent would go to any extreme to support there children, I say if the prison has no intension of hurting anyone else, and if they were not arrested for murder or rape, let them go. They wouldnt hurt anyone.

    Reply
  24. Maria T

    Bottom line let us not forget we are all human and make mistakes especially our Youth bieng sent to Adult Court!!

    We all know we have done things as teens we would not dare do as adults but we never got caught!! But we forget until your own Children are prosecuted as Adults. Some given
    cruel and unjust sentences even LIFE.

    Remember JESUS was a Prisoner an innocent prisoner and
    beleive it or not there are many more in our Prison system. I beleive in consequences for your actions
    but I also beleive People can change so increse Good
    time credit for those that want to change and return
    them back to society to give witness to the kids that
    still can be changed.

    Don’t wait until your kids are locked up. I never thought this could happen to me beleive me it can happen to any one.

    Reply
  25. Lola McDonald

    Please; With all those minds that are trying to make a decision about putting a CAP on the Calif. Prisons. Surely
    all of you could get together and move. It is truly my prayer.

    Reply
  26. Otis Stillwell

    I’m also a mother of a son in prison, who has almost lost his life and has been injured by the negligent medical care he has received. He was diagnose with thyroid cancer. CDC allowed the cancer to grow over two years before they force to do something. It took letters and phone calls to every agency that I could imagine to get this surgery. Over the last two years my son has suffered with a fractured neck and live in such extreme pain, he considered suicide. He finally received surgery after much complaining, writing and calling getting Assemblyman’s Swanson involved to move the staff at Vacaville to action. My son has been in solitary confinement for over a year and we believe it is politically motivated because of his proactive behavior in his cause as well as others. CDC has attempted to send his far from home to a prison that his family would not be able to visit, claiming he is a threat to the management of the prison, Simply ludicrous! His life has been endangered simply by their neglect. Any fall could have cost him his life and they knew it and did nothing. He had to have his entire neck reconstructed at SFUC because of the fracture that was left unattended for two years. He now has steel rods in his neck and requires a wheelchair to get around. He is forty six years old and has been in prison for twenty three years for being at a crime scene, no actual participation.

    Reply
  27. miss lilly

    I agree. If the inmate is not a murderer or rapist let them go.California and the country is going to hit the great depression. OUr gas prices will go up, college tuition will also rise,My husband was 20 years old when he was sentenced 15 years and he has already done 9 going on 10 he is now 30 years old and he is now a man who learned a hard lesson.I do agree we need more instuation for parole and probation,and if these inmates don’t follow the law again well that’s on them, but for the most of them let them come home to their children and grandchildren. Things have really changed since the 80s and 90s,so for all the bitter scared people who don’t approve, you will be the reason why USA will be in debt forever and you will always have something to complain about! So with that said, PLEASE RELEASE these inmates for us families and for the economy and health of everyone!

    Reply
  28. Всеволод Ильин

    Занятно! Все очень понятно и грамотно, и в то же время без излишних умствований и самолюбования, и на доступном языке. Редкий случай когда человек делится ценной и интересной инфой. Спасибо автору!

    Reply
  29. Winner

    В очередной раз спасибо, хорошие что есть такие люди как вы, которые дают дельные советы:)

    Reply
  30. JPHAMAN

    The things that happen in prisons should never happen. Guards that have power problems treat prisoners with such disrepect …simply because they can. If the average person had to deal with this treatment and disrespect every day, most would not be able to handle it. States receive money for each prisoner that they get….overcrowded (YOU BET!) Many innocent people are in there also. Believe me….

    Reply
  31. annie hall

    I AM A REPUBLICAN, A TAXPAYER AND AN AVERAGE CITIZEN. I WANT TO KNOW WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON? WE AS CALIFORNIAN CAN NOT STAND TO PAY ANYMORE TAXES, I PAY OVER $11, 000 DOLLARS IN TAXES LAST YEAR, AND THERE IS NO WAY IN HELL THAT I AM GOING TO PAY ANYMORE TAXES ON THIS STUPIDITY. I BELIEVE THE PRISON SHOULD BE CAP AT 80,000, AND THE PRISONER SHOULD BE DOING ONLY HALF TIME FOR GOOD BEHAVIOR. LOW LEVEL DRUG DEALERS SHOULD BE REHABILITATED AND SENT HOME, THERE SHOULD BE HOUSE ARREST. THE ELDERLY AND SICK SHOULD HAD NEVER BEEN INPRISONED IN THE FIRST PLACE. THE PROBATION AND PAROLE OFFICERS NEED TO BE ACCOUNTABLE, WHEN EVER A PROBATIONER AND PAROLEE IS SENT TO PRISON FOR VIOLATING A CONDITION. PROBATION VIOLATORS AND PAROLE VIOLATORS SHOULD NOT BE SENT TO PRISON UNLESS THEY ARE CHARGED WITH A NEW CRIME. AS TAXPAYERS WHY SHOULD WE HAVE TO SUFFER, BY PAYING FOR NEW PRISONS. PRISONS ARE EXPENSIVE, WHO IS GOING TO PAY FOR THAT? I CAN NOT AFFORD TO SEND MY CHILDREN TO COLLEGE, BUT I AM PAYING $50,000 A YEAR TO KEEP SOMEONE IN PRISON FOR HAVING 5 ROCKS OF CRACK, COME ON, WHO IS KIDDING WHO. OUR TAX DOLLARS SHOULD BE USED WISELY, PAYING TO EDUCATE CALIFORNIAN. WE AS TAX PAYERS DO NOT GIVE A RATS ASS ABOUT WHAT THESE LAWMAKERS DO. WE ARE TIRED OF THE POSTURING AND POSING BY THE LAWMAKERS TO STEAL OUR HARD EARNED DOLLARS. THOSE WHO REFUSES TO FOLLOW THE JUDGES ORDERS SHOULD BE LOCKED AWAY IN THE MOST CROWDED AND DEMEANING PRISON THERE ARE AND SEE HOW THEY LIKE IT. OUR PARTY PRETENTS THAT THEY CARE ABOUT THE PUBLIC SAFETY, IF THEY CONTINUES TO BUILD PRISONS, AND LOCKING UP PRISONERS FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME,WE ALL ARE GOING TO BE BANKRUPTED. WE ARE NOT SCARED OF THE BOOGIE MAN, WE ARE SCARE OF GOING INTO FINANCIAL RUINS!

    Reply
  32. joelle

    I FEEL THAT THERE ARE TO MANY PRISIONS TO MUCH MONEY SPENT ON PRISIONS ! THE AVERAGE PRISIONER COSTS MORE MONEY A YEAR THEN THE INCOME OF A WORKING CITIZEN !! WOW !! WE ARE NOT THINKING OF WHATS BEST FOR HUMAN KIND IS THIS RIGHT NO ! OVER CROWDED PRISIONS IS NOT RIGHT WE DONT EVEN THINK OF WHAT WE ARE CREATING AND THE CAUSE AND EFFECT OF OVERCROWED PRISIONS AND OUR BUDGET PROBLEMS WE LOCK TO MANY PEOPLE UP WHY NOT TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT ? PRISIONS ARE OVERCROWDED MORE NOW THAN EVER SO OUR SYSTEM DOESNT SEEM TO BE REHABILITATING THESE INDIVIUALS ? ISNT THAT WHAT PRISIONS ARE FOR REHABILITATION ? WE SHOULD LOOK AT EVERY INDIVIUAL SEPERATLEY AND MORE DETAILED THEN JUST WHAT THE CRIME IS PEOPLE HAVE TO DO WHAT THEY NEED TO TO SURVIVE OR ARE FORCED TO A WAY OF LIFE AT AN EARLY AGE DUE TO LOVE AND FAMILY MORALS GUIDENCE PARENTAL RESPONSIBILTY ETC WE ARE DESTROYING MANY YOUNG LIFES NOT REHABILITY YOUNG LIFES

    Reply
  33. sms8t

    Can the technology used to keep these prisoners under control really do all it says it can do? Probation technology is NOT a magic wand that can change the person that is wearing it. So why should I feel safe if prisoners are running free?

    Reply
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