For Governor Brown, the prison overcrowding issue will simply not go away. Brown thought he had met the federal court's mandate to reduce the California prison population when he forced what came to be known as "realignment" on California counties. Flooding local jails – with state inmates.
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At the time, we warned Brown in an earlier segment that passing the buck to the counties would increase crime. Local counties simply are not equipped to deal with an influx of criminals from state prisons. And a lot of them – had to be let out early.
We said it then, and we'll say it now. Brown should have sent those inmates to private prisons. As we predicted, things did not work out as Brown had intended. Violent crime in Los Angeles county had been dropping until the realignment was put in place. In 2012, we saw a spike upwards of 3.5%.
On top of that, the federal court has come back and said it wasn't enough. The court wants another reduction of ten thousand inmates by December 1st. Brown is trying desperately to get a 3-year stay from that court mandate. Meanwhile Brown is finally saying we must put many of those ten-thousand inmates into private prisons. It may be too little too late however, because arcane private prison transfer regulations may keep Brown from meeting the December deadline.
In any case, Brown should shift not only the ten thousand but thousands more to private prisons. Local counties should never again have the burden of dealing with hardened criminals wreaking havoc on the local population.
Governor Brown, you have a golden opportunity to fix the prison overcrowding problem – permanently. Please take it.
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