I Want to Visit Arnold’s Fantasy Land Too

Several years back, the State agreed to some oversight over the state prison health care system.  It was undeniably a mess, with several prisoners dying due to the lack of access to health care while they were behind bars. The Governor is now sick of the prison receiver, J. Clark Kelso, and wants to DTMFA, and hopefully ditch the whole receiver thing entirely.

Fantasy Pictures, Images and Photos

But Mello said the state is entitled to argue that having a receiver is a “less intrusive” surrender of control over its prisons than a court order to release inmates would be – while still maintaining that federal law never authorized the appointment in the first place.

A 1996 law limited federal judges’ authority to control state prisons and did not allow intrusive measures like receiverships, Mello told a three-judge appeals court panel in San Francisco.

He said Schwarzenegger “is not seeking to eliminate judicial oversight,” but would prefer a court-appointed monitor who could recommend improvements to state prison managers rather than a receiver who runs the system.(SF Chronicle 9/17/09)

See, Arnold likes to visit the gummy bear forest and pick jelly beans in the Gardens of Toasted Marshmallows.  It must be really nice to live in the FantasyLand that Arnold so frequently occupies.  Because, in this world, the state Legislature and the Administration has totally and repeatedly failed to deal with the prisons. Why would the courts trust them now?

UPDATE by Brian: I meant to also include this fact: the state will not meet its prison reduction goals, that were set forth by the three-judge panel.

California will fail to meet federal demands to reduce its prison population by 40,000 inmates over two years despite plans by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to commute the sentences of illegal immigrant prisoners and build three new prison facilities to relieve overcrowding, sources said.

The state has a Friday deadline to submit a plan to a panel of three federal judges detailing how it will reduce the current prison population of about 170,000.

Apparently the Administration has also moved into the realm of contempt of court. If one were a jokester, perhaps he would say that it would be good to lock up a few elected officials to educate them about the state of our prisons. Let them stew on it a little while and all.  But, while that isn’t likely to happen, the ball is in the hands of the federal courts now.

One thought on “I Want to Visit Arnold’s Fantasy Land Too”

  1. Unfortunately, CDCR is not cutting where it should. They are eliminating most of the In-custody drug and alcohol programs, thereby virtually cutting all rehabilitation that was provided. Reform is not to merely tighten up the punitive side of prison life, but to increase the preparation for the inmates to become Productive Members of Society. As someone who works with the parolees who have benefited from in-custody treatment, I am saddened and angry at the cuts. This state has cut every decent program it had. No longer is California a place to be proud of.  

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