by Carlos Alcalá and Joey Hill
Sacramento – The Assembly Select Committee on Justice Reinvestment will hold a hearing on Wednesday, Nov. 13, to listen to experts speaking on existing programs in California and beyond. The committee is looking for practices that could be adopted or expanded to improve justice practices and reduce the California prison population to allow constitutional levels of health care. The committee co-chairs are Assemblymember Tom Ammiano and Assemblymember Reginald Jones-Sawyer.
Panelists expected to appear include Jude Litzenberger, San Diego Veterans’ Court; Judge Stephen V. Manley, Santa Clara County Superior Court; Sacramento County Chief Probation Officer Lee Seale; Contra Costa Public Defender Robin Lipetzky; Lisa Rodriguez, Office of the District Attorney, San Diego; representative, Office of the District Attorney, San Francisco; and Mary Maguire and Ricky Gutierrez, Criminal Justice Department, CSU Sacramento.
“After decades of overloading our prisons and escalating prison sentences, we have to look for better alternatives,” said Ammiano. “It’s not just to satisfy the orders of the federal courts. It’s so our prisons will run better, our streets will be safer and our costs will be lower.”
“One of the best ways to bring proper justice to our prison system is to lower the recidivism rate and reduce the bloated size of the prison industry,” said Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer. “This is the most effective way to make government smaller and more efficient. Each year the correctional system takes a chunk out of the state’s budget, and this is sad for a visionary state like ours. And so I look forward to taking on the challenge of finding smarter ways to manage our corrections and rehabilitation system.”
The Select Committee was established by Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez and is holding a series of hearings on the situation of prison crowding. This will be the second hearing. An additional meeting is planned for Dec. 4 in San Francisco. The committee will take a late-December break and resume hearings in 2014.
“One of the best ways to bring proper justice to our prison system is to lower the recidivism rate and reduce the bloated size of the prison industry,” said Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer. “This is the most effective way to make government smaller and more efficient.”
The Nov. 13 hearing will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Room 444 of the State Capitol.
Carlos Alcalá, communications director for Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, can be reached at Carlos.Alcala@asm.ca.gov or (916) 319-2017, and Joey Hill, chief of staff for Assemblymember Reginald Jones-Sawyer, can be reached at (213) 744-2111.