State Prison Realignment Shifts 11 Thousand Inmates

SACRAMENTO (KCBS) — California’s prison realignment program is on track to meet a federal order to end overcrowding of inmates according to the Department of Corrections.

Governor Jerry Brown’s plan shifts low-level offenders from prisons to local jails, seeks to shut down the juvenile system and Brown wants to cut another $1.1 billion from the prison budget.

Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Undersecretary Terri McDonald said we’ve hit the first benchmark.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

“To date we have reduced our prison population by over 11,000 offenders,” she said.

The next move requires the prison population to drop another 23,000 by mid 2013.

According to Department of Corrections Secretary Matt Cate, the reduction of illegal overcrowding will accelerate under the governor’s new budget proposal:

“This next budget year is really about doing the hard fiscal work of making realignment real across the board in corrections and in the counties,” Cate said.

Cate added that thanks to realignment, prisoner health care, controlled by federal courts, for these, “non-violent, non-serious, non-sex offenders,” is improving.

The plan also calls for closing the Division of Juvenile Justice, having all young offenders serve their time locally instead of in state prisons, and for having fewer women in state cells.

Cate said the plan should free money to improve rehabilitation of California’s most hardened criminals.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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