Senate rejects Gov. Brown’s private prison option
by Brian Leubitz
In case there wasn’t enough drama in the prison system, now there appears to be a standoff between the Governor and the Senate Democrats.
In a direct slap to Gov. Jerry Brown, his fellow Democrats in the state Senate on Wednesday rejected his plan for dealing with California’s prison crisis, throwing the state’s response to a federal court order into chaos. …
“We oppose the governor’s plan,” Steinberg told a Capitol news conference. “We think it is, as the governor himself said … It’s throwing money down a rat hole.” (AP)
The Governor’s plan was basically to lease space in private prisons in Arizona and a few other states, and send enough prisoners there to get us into compliance with the court order that’s currently pending. However, without approval of the Legislature, that’s not going to happen. Steinberg wants to seek an extensions, but that seems a big question mark. Given how hard the administration has fought the orders, it seems unlikely that the court will allow much additional time to comply. It should be done in a thoughtful process, but it must be done. Rushing to comply with a court order probably isn’t best for that important work.
Now, some sort of compromise will have to be found to meet the year end deadline in fairly short order. Moving that many people takes a fair amount of time for the logistics alone.