CA Not Following Path Of Other States On Prison Reform


California’s decision to add 53,000 beds, with a $50 million sliver going to rehabilitation programs, is falling out of favor in some other states with overstuffed prisons, says the Christian Science Monitor. “There is a growing bipartisan consensus across the country on these issues and a realization that getting tough on criminals has gotten too tough on taxpayers,” says Adam Gelb of the Pew Public Safety Performance Project. “States from Connecticut to Alabama to Texas and Kansas are coming up with solutions that control costs and control crime.”

Not included in the new prison law was a sentencing commission. Political analysts doubt the legislature will do much else on prison reform. “The question would be: If not now, when? The legislators and governor had enormous pressure on them to come up with solutions, and this was their best effort. This is where they could reach consensus,” says Mark Baldassare of the Public Policy Institute of California, a nonpartisan think tank. “It really falls sort of what many hoped would be a more comprehensive approach.”


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