by Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB)

Not only is overcrowding in California prisons so severe as to amount to cruel and unusual punishment, the judges ruled on Aug. 4, but these fathers, husbands and sons are locked away from their lonely families, who desperately need them to survive these hard times. Tell Jerry Brown to let them go home! – Photo: CDCROn Tuesday, Aug. 4, a federal three-judge panel issued a final historic ruling in the California prison health care lawsuits. The panel ordered the state to release 44,000 people in prison.

This decision is a huge opportunity to improve prison health care, parole, sentencing laws, prison construction and re-entry conditions and shift budget priorities to education, health and safety net services. We need to insure that this order is implemented so we can begin reinvesting in our communities during the enormous budget crisis.

“Tough on crime” organizations are mobilizing already to reverse this decision – so we need to make ourselves heard loudly right away.

Please call and fax Attorney General Jerry Brown all day Friday, Aug. 7, and demand that he not appeal the ruling.

Tell your friends, coworkers and neighbors! We need the calls and faxes to keep coming. If you want more information about the ruling and our work to reduce the number of people in prison in California, we want to work with you!

By phone

Call Jerry Brown at (916) 322-3360; hit #7 for comments. Sample script:

I am calling to demand that Attorney General Jerry Brown refuse to appeal the three-judge ruling in the prison population lawsuit. We need to reinvest in our communities, and release people from prison.

By fax

Fax Jerry Brown at (916) 323-5341. Sample letter:

Dear Attorney General Jerry Brown:

I am writing to share my support for the three-judge panel’s decision ordering California to release 44,000 people in prison. This decision is a huge opportunity to solve some of the interconnected problems we face: prison health care and conditions, parole, sentencing laws, prison construction and re-entry. We also need to make sure this order is implemented so we can reinvest in our communities during the enormous budget crisis. We need to release the people and the resources California is locking up.




To learn more about the CURB Alliance and get involved in our organizing, find us here:

• Northern California, (510) 444-0484

• Southern California, (323) 951-0436

Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) is a broad based alliance of over 40 organizations seeking to CURB prison spending by reducing the number of people in prison and the number of prisons in the state. CURB urges readers to forward this notice widely.


  1. i went to prison because i broke the law. hated almost every minute of it. Got really sick of hearing some brag about killing, robbing and beating innocent folks. brag about the guns, drugs and women they used to have. i never did meet a guy that said he was innocent. i did meet some that i hoped would never get out. I also met some that just wanted to do their time and go home like me.

    Looking back, it was the best thing that could have happened to me at the time. i got clean and sober without a self-help group or inmate program. my rehabilitation began on my knees in my cell, asking God to change me and teach me His ways. i picked up skils through a vocational program that helped me get a decent job after my release.

    i have been out 10 yrs and appreciate my family and freedom like i never did before.

    i work with men that are seeking their “rehabilitation” on their knees. Some are in prison and some are on the street.

    i went to prison because of my “lifestyle”. i stay out of prison because of my “lifestyle” and the Grace of God.

    the best thing you can do for your loved ones is pray for them!

    Chaplain Grady Powell

  2. Awesome post Chaplain. True rehabilitation has to start from within. All the programs in the world are of no use to those who refuse to take responsibility for their actions.

    You obviously have, and for that, you have my respect.

  3. BurnRubber, I am so glad you posted and I am VERY proud of you for living a clean life and changing. I respect you for taking the blame for your actions and not blaming anyone else. I hope you continue to live the life you do and you should be very proud of yourself for changing. Good luck, and I hope you continue to succeed. WOW, what an awesome post by a man that takes the blame for his actions and then changes his life, AWESOME!!!!

  4. Mr Tucker;
    wipe the foam from your mouth please.

    Im glad you are not my father!
    To stop loving your own child?
    I would hate what they did. Not hate them.

  5. Well spoken sidewalker.

    Still, you can understand how we find it necessary to protect the rest of society from what they did and what they might do.

    You can understand how there must be sanctions on people who do what they do in order to show the rest of society these acts will not be tolorated.

    And you must also agree… keep this society from degenerating int lawlessness… keep people from taking revenge on their own against people who do these bad things…there must be a sense the society will do this for them.

    There isn’t anything nice about prisons sideways……othe than the fact that they keep the rest of us safe from the things these loved ones do……

  6. Sure, it’s alwasy easier to finger point & blame the poor & defensless of a society, for the nation’s ills & sins, just like the NAZIs blamed & decimated the defensless minority Jews, Gysies & the disabled. But, beating down the same old dead horse does NOT ressurect a nation from it’s own self-induced failures & when a nation builds more prisons to prosecute & warehouse it’s citizens than schools & hospitals to safeguard the well being of it’s citizens, the nation is certainly heading for self-assured failure. Time for action is now!!!

  7. yes ! if you think the guards are mad at inmates this is true ..guards are at the news site online showing there hate for inmates and there familyss
    The guards are very angry right now over all of this and are taking their anger out on the prisoners. At Sierra Conservation Center the inmates were made to stand in the hot afternoon sun for four hours while the guards tore up their cells for a radio that was missing from a guard. That is a lie, inmates are not interested in a guards radio.

  8. Safety is an illusion. There are many who will never change and cases like Lily Burk will happen regardless of changes in prisons and sentencing or not. Does that mean we don’t change what we can if what we have isn’t working?

    Before you ask, I am a former inmate of Californa. I know the good and bad. No, not all CO’s are evil nor are they all angels. For every CO who tries to help, there are 8 who wouldn’t help an inmate if they saw them bleeding to death in front of them. The food isn’t good; it’s more carbs than is needed. Being obese doesn’t mean the food is nutritionally balanced because most obese people are nutritionally starving. The health care isn’t where it should be. As a free person, I have the ability to go to a clinic or an E.R. to get help. As an inmate, I did not and trust me, I sure wish I had.

    For those who believe changes are not needed, nothing said will change your minds. You are closed to any further input. For those who want to see change, words here aren’t needed because you already believe in change.

    I wish CA good luck. No matter which way it goes, it’s going to need it.

  9. I agree with john, if republican can agree to raise taxes ONLY if it goes to prisons and police then we should all be able to pick and chose where our tax dollars go. Since I paid out over $52,000 in taxes last year I chose that it only goes to education. Yes John your losing support, you cant scare me any longer. I voted for 3 stikes because of republican scare tatics, I voted against pro. 36 for the same reason. I voted for prop. 5, even though you guys claimed it was the drug dealers bill of rights. Thanks to comments just like the ones you make I have a true understanding of whats going on. I will not support the building of another prison period. We have 33 of them we need to fix what ever it is that were doing wrong. Thank You john for openning my eyes about what your truly are.

  10. Wow, inmates sure want to change their lives, they even had a bonfire (Rioting and burning down a dorm at Chino State Prison) over the weekend to celebrate their possible release to society. Yep, these are all non-violent inmates trying to change their lives, yea right! what a joke! Thank god for all the C/O’s, you all hate and think are over paid, who put their own lives in danger to save the lives of hundreds of inmates. Just another reason why these inmates should not be released early. Thank you inmates, at Chino State Prison, for proving my point. Everyone I know is against the releases, unless they are put on parole and monitored by a Parole Agent. If the Governor want’s to release the inmates on parole, I might consider it as long as the inmate is supervised by an agent that is allowed to do his job.

  11. I work with the VA out reach program, my program has over 200 residents. For the last 6 months we tried something new, we have picked up over 40 vets that were in prison and were released to our program and so far only 2 have left. We offer job trainning, substance abuse counseling and various types of services to vet, our program has been so successful that were going to start doing it at 3 more of our locations because this was a piolit program for us. They dont leave us untill they have secured a job, housing and have saved money and its working. We have had a couple problems with parole officers but at the same time we also have big guns behind us, at this very moments we have ex-inmates out voluteering on a re-election campaign, there helping with a huge free medical service to the public this week and these inmates will be there in force not receiving service but offering service. See what happens when someone belives in you.

  12. Hey John Tucker: Your sarcasm is disgusting. How do you know what the catalyst for the riot was? Were you there, or are you continuing the propaganda machine that likely started from your peer group? If anything, the COs at Chino probably pulled the same crap as the COs at Sierra Conservation Center (blatant abuse of the inmates), and now you have the unmitigated gall to justify CDCR’s BS with the inmates’ natural response to abuse. Please STFU!!!

  13. Prison guards are the biggest whiners I have ever met! If you don’t like your job, educate yourselves and get a better job. You recommend that to prisoners, but you don’t see it the connection with your own situations? Most of you are nothing but glorified babysitters who want to be cops but can’t be. Stop whining now and go to night school.

  14. Most prisoners in California prisons are there for parole violations. I do not want to pay to support people who missed a parole appointment or smoked a joint. The only reason the guards are whining about releasing prisoners is because their jobs will be less secure. Too bad!

  15. The segregation policy in California’s prison system was deemed unconstitutional in 2005 and I find it awful STRANGE that CO’s have been talking of STRIKING (due to pay cuts) and all of a sudden Chino Prison wants to enforce integration due to the 2005 ruling! Kind of makes me go “HMMM?”
    DO YOU THINK THEY WANTED TO STIR THE SHIT? Knowing the Inmates would RIOT? I DO!

  16. The fact remains (whether guard or inmate family member) the prisons are over crowded and the medical can never be “up to par” among many other atrocities while incarcerated are NOT constitutional.

    It is not up to the guards to JUDGE the inmates as a JUDGE and JURY has already done this. In fact is it even ethical to read a prisoners “rap sheet”? Is that required by CDC administration? I think that is very unethical and can create more harm than good for both the inmate and the prison guard.

    The guards jobs are not to punish anyone; inmates or family of such. Their job is to conduce order and see to it that these inmates and staff are safe, and kept inside the prison walls while incarcerated. The judges send them to prison as punishment; loosing their rights to be free in society and loosing (in most cases) their families and friends to name just a couple is their PUNISHMENT.

    I also believe that what an earlier poster stated who was a prisoner himself and now is a chaplain;”True rehabilitations starts within ones heart, or “on our knees before God”. In many respects it does boil down to looking in the mirror at ones self. This is the key to redemption and redeeming ones self.

    However, once this happens these inmates DO NEED programs here after. Once released they have trouble finding a place to call “home”, or a job. The first thing an apartment application or job applications states, “Have you ever been convicted of a felony and/or crime”. We can not continue to hold ones past over their heads.

    There are good and bad in every profession, it appears to me more bad in THIS profession of C/O’s due to the facts of most of which is a lack of education and training in their prospective profession. For $74,000 per year and just GED, your on your way to guard boot camp for an entire 16-weeks of training! That is ridiculous and an outrage. It is no wonder we see the mentality of these so called “professionals” here with such ignorant rants of “All inmates are the scum of the earth with rap sheets a mile long deserving nothing”. I suggest that the guards also be “trained” and EDUCATED by taking about three or four sociology and psychology courses.

    All educated people understand that crime happens mostly in poor,minority,fatherless,hopeless environments. Education is a DETER to crime. Taking from education will eventually lead to more crime, more peeps in prison and lets not forget more GUARDS. PUNISHMENT IS NOT WORKING.

  17. Just an update, the medical event I wrote of earlier is going very well. Theirs been a lot of media coverage and the residents of my program is making me very proud including the ones that are ex-inmates. Community leaders are inpressed with their dedication. This is furthur proof that rehabilitation programs once released greatly increase an inmates chance of staying out of prison. I have spoken with state assembly leaders about prison reform infact this weekend I was with the US Congress woman from Compton and we also discussed the success of of this program and she is pleased with the community out reach this programs provide including the inmate out reach program…..

  18. I work as a counselor for a substance abuse program in a California prison. Our program not only helps inmates with addictions but also with behavior modification, preparation for re-entry to society, socialization skills, communication skills, job preparation and residential treatment placements upon release. I have witnessed the complete transformation in inmates who took responsibility for their actions and decided to make a change in their lives for themselves and their families. I have sat in groups where they are brought to tears discussing their crimes and the remorse they feel about what they did and how they hurt others. I have also listened to those who said they had no intention of changing their lifestyles upon parole. Throughout my employment I have celebrated their accomplishments and been saddened by their failures and I have learned that if we weren’t there doing what we do those that have succeeded upon parole most likely would not have made it without rehabiliation services. I go to work every day not knowing if it will be my last due to the budget problems but I continue to go and do my work for as long as I can because I am convinced these programs work. I have visited parolees in after cares and watched them being the fathers their children need and the husbands their wives wanted. I am not saying we are the sole reason they have changed their lives but for some we are som of the few people that told them they deserved better in life. I have become a confidant, friend, teacher, parental figure and example to inmates who sat in my groups. I work with a CCIII and Parole Agent who also believe in our program. For those who don’t believe inmates deserve a second chance I hope you are never in a position where you need that chance and are denied it. There are some in prison that don’t belong there just as there are some on the streets that belong in prison. I feel I am doing society a service by helping prepare those that are returning to your neighborhoods be successful contributing members of society. They are returning to you better fathers, husbands, role models and taxpayers. In a twist of irony they are now supporting others in prisons through their taxes. An even bigger twist in this whole story is that I am retired CDCR and have a better relationship with my students than some of my co-workers because I know how the system works. I hope our programs are not cut not because I need the paycheck but because Californians deserve better.

  19. I was happy to see that the public was givin the chance to call,write or fax Attorney General Jerry Brown on behalf of dropping the Appeal on early prison releases ! unforuntally I did not come accross the website until today,therefore I was unable to contact him and give my plea on dropping the appeal ! Does anyone know whether or not there is anything I can still do to help even though it’s past the Aug 7th date that the calls were required to be made on ? And if anyone has any resent info on the early releases,could you please let me know what they might be ? I found a few things but nothing saying a final decision was made,and if not,when the next hearing date may be ! thanks sincerly Angie

  20. Angie, for the most up to date information on what’s going on at the state capitol you can go to and click under capitol and California. I don’t know anything about an early release package but I do know that a prison reform package was passed by the state senate on Thursday, but was held up in the assembly. Early release is a term used by republican to try and scare the public as if there was going to be 27,000 violent criminals out. That is not what’s going on at all. They have a common sense approach to reduce the prison population by turning illegal aliens over to the fed, older sick inmates to hospitals and nursing homes. Good time credit for participating in rehabilitation programs and by cutting back on inmates being returned to prison because of simple parole violation like failed drug test and not reporting on time. There’s a couple more things to this plan but its 12:00 am and I half sleep I just wanted you to get the information you requested

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