California has already sent nearly 400 prisoners to out-of-state facilities – but they volunteered. Now, the state is running out of willing inmates, and Governor Schwarzenegger has asked Corrections and Rehabilitation to begin involuntary transfers. Bill Sessa with the Department says they plan to send up to five-thousand inmates to private facilities in Mississippi, Arizona and Oklahoma. He says the first group will be prisoners the federal government has on immigration hold:
“These are inmates that would never be released on parole anyway. They would be released into the custody of the federal immigration service whenever they completed their prison term.”
Unions representing state employees and attorneys representing inmates both say they’ll fight the forced transfers in court. Don Spector with the nonprofit Prison Law Office says it’s illegal to transfer an inmate without his consent.