California Gov. Jerry Brown believes the state’s prisoner realignment program, which shifted low-level non-serious non-sexual offenders from state prisons to county jails, including the Twin Towers Correctional Facility, has fixed overcrowding. He believes the program is not only a success but wants the federal courts to resume control of the system to the state.
Attorneys for the governor say the abysmal conditions and citations for healthcare conditions are a thing of the past. They also argue the program has solved problems previously seen at state prisons. Brown said transferring custody of low level offenders to county jails has more than done the job, but acknowledges that healthcare could still be improved. As it stands, California reportedly falls just short of of numbers set forth by federal judges in terms of exactly how many inmates needed to be reduced.
Since 2007, federal judges have threatened that if the state does not adequately address prisoner overcrowding that they would take action and reduce state prisoners themselves. California lawmakers have fired back, saying this would put public safety at risk. They have since begun shipping inmates to facilities in other states in order to comply with that order. Realignment, they say, was just another step.
Brown is hopeful that the judges will vote later next week in favor of removing their oversight of the state’s prisons. It is unclear when that vote will take place.