Republicans Call For Immediate Action On Prisons

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, March 20, 2007

California faces a federal judge’s June deadline to show progress on solving prison overcrowding.  While behind-the-scenes meetings on a deal continue, Republicans say things aren’t happening fast enough.
They fear the federal judge may cap the number of inmates – and let some prisoners out.  Republican Senator George Runner says there are better short-term solutions:

“It’s kind of crazy for us to be even talking about the idea of releasing prisoners, when we have empty prisons in the state of California.”

He’s talking about both public and private facilities – including old ones that aren’t up to standards.  Republicans want to ease regulations to house prisoners there quickly.  A Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokesman says all facilities are being considered– but many would need significant security upgrades.  Republicans also support building new prisons and jails.  Democrats say all options are still on the table.