Duncan McIntosh, Governor's Office
Faced with a federal judge’s threat to take over the entire state prison system, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has a new plan to make some space in the seriously overcrowded facilities.
Governor Schwarzenegger is calling for a commission to examine sentencing in California – something Democrats are welcoming, and Republicans admit is a challenge for them. However, Schwarzenegger says he remains opposed to changing the state’s three strikes law. He says California must act to solve the problem:
“If we don’t clean up the mess, the federal court is going to do the job for us. Now that is bad news, because they will order the immediate release of criminals and they will dig into our general funds, which means they will take money away from education and from health care.”
Schwarzenegger’s 11 billion dollar proposal also includes building 78-thousand new beds at county jails and state prisons, parole reforms, and programs aimed at reducing recidivism. A federal receiver has already taken over health care at the state’s prisons.