After changes to California’s juvenile-prison system brought down recidivism and the number of incarcerated youths, and also saved millions of dollars, the state is aiming to treat its adult prisoners more like youthful offenders, says the Wall Street Journal.
A new law overhauling the adult-prison system shifts more funding and responsibility for paroled offenders to counties. That echoes a key move in the juvenile detention overhaul — placing more nonviolent inmates in county jails instead of state prisons and helping counties fund rehabilitation services.
The bill is part of a broader rethinking of California’s adult-prison system, the nation’s largest. In August, a federal court ordered the state to cut its adult-inmate population — more than 166,000, despite an official capacity of about 80,000 — by 40,000 by 2011. The state has unveiled a plan that would release about 20,000 inmates and incorporate some provisions from the juvenile-system changes, such as keeping some offenders in county jails.