CA Prison Deal Compromise Adds Window Dressing to Gov Brown's Non-Fix

With increased federal pressure, time is running out on much-needed funding and planned prison transfers in California. Though State Senator Darrell Steinberg has compromised, the plan appears to be very similar to Gov. Brown's original plan:

A modified version of Gov. Jerry Brown's prison housing plan appears headed for approval after Brown and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, the plan's chief critic, announced today they reached a compromise.

The state will proceed with Brown's plan to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to reduce California's prison population by moving thousands of inmates to local lockups and out of state, but only if federal judges overseeing California's prison overcrowding case do not give the state more time to address overcrowding.

The Associated Press admitted as much as well: 

The deal relies on the state persuading three federal judges to give California time to let rehabilitation programs work rather than spend $315 million to lease cells in private prisons and county jails.

The leaders agreed that if the judges don't extend the deadline, the state will fall back on Brown's plan to lease the cells.

That "only if" is the compromise that Steinberg was able to get from the Governor. It also represents the last great hope of his own plan that perhaps the court would grant the state additional time to deal with the overcrowding and get back to 137.5% of capacity. That delay is still quite speculative. If ultimately denied, this looks identical to what Gov. Brown offered up originally. But if the judges allow us some time, perhaps we can really work on some of those needed reforms.

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