California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to ease overcrowding at state prisons by contracting with other states to house 5,000 jailed illegal immigrants, reports the Associated Press. His administration wants to add 51,000 prison beds over the next 15 years. California’s 33 prisons have reached 200 percent capacity. Lawmakers will meet for a special session on the issue Aug. 7.
California officials will seek contracts with states that have empty prison beds such as Louisiana, Texas, Michigan, and Indiana. The Legislature would have to change state law that requires an inmate’s permission to be sent out of state. In another money-saving scheme, the state would limit the number of times inmates can flush toilets and would scale back drinking water allotments.