FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
ATTACHED: Today’s Court Order and Opinion
Statement by Diana Zuñiga, Field Organizer for Californians United for a Responsible Budget, on today’s court order on the State’s overcrowded prisons:
“This morning, the Court granted the State of California a 2-year extension to reduce prison overcrowding in the state. We appreciate the steps the court has taken to address prison overcrowding and support their order not to send additional prisoners to out-of-state facilities. However, unless we immediately cancel all of Governor Brown’s current plans to expand California’s prison capacity by over 5,000 new beds, we will not solve the crisis. The end result will not be a more just, equitable, and safe state, it will be more people in cages in California. We remain deeply concerned regarding the human and financial cost of the Governor’s proposed expansion of the prison system.
We urge the Legislature to follow the courts recommendations and the Governor’s own by making all credit reforms immediately retroactive and to expand elder parole, medical parole, the alternative custody program and good-time credit to an even broader segment of our current prison population. Though the Court suggests that California implement a sentencing commission, it should be made clear that California could change our harsh parole and sentencing laws immediately, without creating another board that is dominated not by community voices, but by law enforcement. We don’t need to waste further time to address this crisis and further money that could be used to restore the social safety net, we need real sustainable solutions now.
For more information, or for interviews with CURB members please contact Emily Harris – information above.
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CURB is a statewide alliance of over 50 organizations working to curb prison spending by reducing the number of people in prison and the number of prisons in California.