Better than Brown’s plan?

State senator releases plan to reduce state-prison population

A day after Gov. Jerry Brown released his plan to comply with a federal court order to reduce the state-prison population, California Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) released a plan he touted as “far better.”

In June, three federal judges ordered Brown to release about 9,600 inmates (8 percent of the inmate population) to remedy unconstitutionally poor inmate care, according to California Healthline.

Brown’s administration has filed an appeal of the order, but also developed a plan to comply with it, which was released Aug. 27. Brown’s plan would rely heavily on shifting inmates to privately owned facilities both in-state and out-of-state, and reopening city-owned detention centers.

Meanwhile, Steinberg’s proposal involves a three-year extension on the order, in return for spending $200 million annually to expand drug treatment and mental-health services for prisoners; creating a committee to examine the state’s sentencing laws; and using an independent panel to determine the appropriate prison population for California, based on nationwide practices.