Steinberg Releases Separate Prison Plan
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
The president of the California Senate said it's time to settle a long running court case between the state and inmates over prison conditions.
Aired 8/29/13 on KPBS News.
The president of the California Senate says it's time to settle a long-running court case between the state and inmates over prison conditions.
Democratic Senator Darrell Steinberg said settling the case would be the best way to comply with federal court orders to reduce prison overcrowding in California. He said, while the plaintiffs have repeatedly won court battles, they risk losing the bigger war if Governor Jerry Brown's plan to increase prison capacity becomes law.
"What does the capacity plan potentially mean to them? It means they lose the long term goal that precipitated the litigation in the first place to change the underlying criminal justice system," Steinberg said.
Steinberg does not support Governor Brown's plan to reduce overcrowding by transferring thousands of inmates to different facilities.
But Brown said it would irresponsible to turn criminal justice policy over to inmate lawyers who are not accountable to the people.
Lawyers for the inmates said they strongly support Steinberg's plan.