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Legislators to focus on CA prisons

State legislators will make prisons a top priority when they return to Sacramento next week. From Sacramento, Jenny O'Mara reports discussions are underway.

Legislators, the Governor, and staff have met to discuss prison overcrowding, and there are different ideas on how to deal with the problem. The Schwarzenegger Administration has proposed bond funding to build two new prisons.

The Receiver designated by a federal judge to oversee the prison healthcare system is lobbying for construction of inmate healthcare and mental health facilities. And the Senate President Pro-Tem, Democrat Don Perata says internal problems must be tackled first.

Perata: I haven't seen anything right now that looks to me like a reform plan. Corrections are in a mess. We don't have permanent employees in administrative decision making positions. It means everything is temporary.

Lawmakers will have to sign off with a two thirds vote on bond funding. The Governor's proposal includes the new prisons, as well as re-entry and community corrections facilities.

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