California Prisons Are at the Crossroads of Releases

In a 5 ‘” 4 decision the Supreme Court has endorsed a court order “requiring California to cut its prison population by tens of thousands of inmates to improve health care for those who remain behind bars” according to an Associated Press release and a contributing story written by Associated Press writer Don Thompson in Sacramento, California.

Arizona prison officials need to heed this warning as everything in this kind of business has a domino effect on neighboring states that suffer many of the same illnesses as the state of California does. Neighboring states suffered when California brought forth their “three strikes and you are out” methodology that began the overcrowding and inability to manage their vast and exploding prison systems. Arizona and other southwestern states have been impacted for the very same reasons as California thus suffering just the same. California criminals, in order to avoid being incarcerated within the Cali system moved to Nevada, Utah, Oregon and some other states only to be included in their respective penal systems as they are busted for committing a crime.

According to the AP news “The court said in a 5-4 decision that the reduction is “required by the Constitution” to correct longstanding violations of inmates’ rights. The order mandates a prison population of no more than 110,000 inmates, still far above the system’s designed capacity. There are more than 142,000 inmates in the state’s 33 adult prisons, meaning roughly 32,000 inmates will need to be transferred to other jurisdictions or released. Citing poor medical and mental health care as well as overcrowding, it is likely that many of these criminals will be transferred to county jails for keeping if they have less than one year left to serve on their sentence. County jails, not funded for such an influx of state prisoners must find funding from other sources to meet the needs to take care of these thousands of prisoners that should not be released back on the streets of local communities. “Eighteen other states joined California in urging the justices to reject the population order as overreaching. They argued that it poses a threat to public safety. State attorneys general said they could face similar legal challenges.” In this article, the Associated Press wrote “In 2006, then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger used his emergency powers to begin shipping inmates to private prisons in Arizona, Mississippi and Oklahoma. More than 10,000 California inmates are now housed in private prisons out of state.” It is likely that this was only a temporary solution to a long term problem as now he is out of office, Governor Brown must find a way to safely reduce prison populations without impacting the communities with public safety issues, something the former governor deliberately omitted within his plan to manage his prison system.

Private prison are more costly than state or public prisons and the facts are being leaked out daily to show how the state governments are being sucked into a financial vacuum that will be hard to come out of when the money is no longer there to pay the private prison vendors what is due to them for taking care of those thousands of prisoners that are housed throughout the southwest to avoid further prison crisis management but that is now coming back to haunt the very same politicians who washed their hands from the problem several years back with their agenda of being “tough o crime.” State budgets, already packed with most of the funding for prison growth and operations are suffering as no funding is imminent for all those who relied on tough crime slogans to be elected and now asking taxpayers to understand their plight that was self-created and devised through poor planning.