Tuesday, August 4, 2009

California Bracing For Massive Prisoner Release

A panel of federal judges has ordered the State of California to reduce its prisoner population by 40,000, or about 27 percent within 2 years. The case arises out of a claim by prisoners that the prison health care system is defective and is causing the unnecessary death of at least one prisoner a day. The federal court has ordered the State of California to implement changes to the health care system to better treat the inmates. However, California is in the midst of serious budget problems and the changes mandated by the court cost money. Money the State of California does not have. In response, the panel of federal judges issued a scathing 184 page order requiring the State of California to come up with a specific plan within 45 days to release the prisoners. The court held that reducing the prisoner population is the only way to remedy a broken prison health care system. The court recommended that the state imprison fewer non violent offenders and limit the number of parole violations. In its opinion, the court described the chaotic overcrowded conditions of some California prisons. Gymnasiums stacked with triple bunk beds, inmates placed in closets and hallways. These overcrowded conditions allow for disease to spread easily and not enough guards to monitor the inmates health conditions.

This case has been going on for 15 years. The court has repeatedly tried less intrusive means before this decision. The State of California is expected to appeal this decision to the United States Supreme Court.

For more information about the Chicago criminal defense attorneys at Legal Defenders, P.C., visit us at www.thelegaldefenders.com or call us anytime at 1-800-228-7295.

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