Threatening to scuttle California’s budget deal, Assembly Republican leader Sam Blakeslee accused Democrats of double-crossing him with an emerging plan to reduce the state’s prison population, reports the Sacramento Bee. Blakeslee said the budget negotiated with Democrats ruled out “early prisoner releases.” He said that instead Democrats “are concocting a radioactive corrections bill that includes the worst of the worst – a sentencing commission and release of 27,000 prisoners, etc.”
The Schwarzenegger administration scrambled to explain that much of the plan relies on parole and sentencing changes that would keep offenders out of the prison system in the first place. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s goal is to reduce the prison population by as many as 27,000 inmates through six measures, none of which the governor considers “early release,” said corrections director Matthew Cate.