Without waiting for funding or legislative approval, California prison officials have told inmates that they have begun preparations to move thousands of them to private lockups, including prisons out of state, the Los Angeles Times reports. “Every potentially eligible offender will be screened for transfer. … While a transfer may cause a hardship to you or your families, it is an action the state must pursue in order to comply with a court order,” said corrections secretary Jeffrey Beard.
Some family members worry that prisoners who get frequent visits from family might be relocated hundreds or thousands of miles away. The legislature is considering Gov. Jerry Brown’s request for $315 million to ship inmates to leased facilities to meet court-ordered reductions in crowding at the 34 state prisons. Senate leader Darrell Steinberg supports an alternative to provide funding for inmate mental health programs inmates and long-term community corrections programs, which he said would reduce recidivism and, eventually, prison overcrowding.