The bill will provide more than seven billion dollars to build a total of 53-thousand beds for inmates. The construction will take place at existing prisons, county jails and re-entry facilities in communities where inmates are eventually paroled.
Some have criticized the measure as not dealing with two elements needed to solve the problem of overcrowding-- sentencing and parole reform. Schwarzenegger says those issues are still on the table.
“We are going to talk about a sentencing commission we are going to talk about parole reform, this is like I said the first step that will be ongoing dialogue to perfect the whole system…”
Prison officials say some of the beds will be built to expand rehabilitation efforts including drug treatment. Schwarzenegger says they’re aiming to have much of the construction done within eighteen months.