Prison Deal Struck

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The compromise includes 53-thousand new prison beds - new rehabilitation programs – and more oversight of the correctional system.  Democratic Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata says it gets to the root of the problems:

 “There’s a balance here between beds and rehab and the kinds of things that we believe will ultimately reduce the inmate population and reduce the recidivism rate.  Those are kind of the principles that we’re operating off of.”

Some new beds will be built at existing prisons – others will be part of so-called re-entry facilities in communities where inmates expect to be paroled.  And others will be medical beds.  The plan requires the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to meet certain benchmarks before more new beds can be built.  California faces a federal court deadline – and a judge could cap the inmate population if he’s not satisfied with the state’s plan to address overcrowding.  The Governor’s Press Secretary says Schwarzenegger is “ecstatic” about the deal.