September 1st, 2009
10:31 AM ET

Inmate-release plan hits snag in California Assembly

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/08/25/california.prisoners.release/art.prison.gi.jpg caption="California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, right, and officials tour a prison last week in Chino after a riot there."]

California legislators plan to keep trying to find consensus on a controversial proposal that would release at least 27,000 inmates from state prisons.

The California Assembly on Monday delayed a possible vote on the plan. Lawmakers likely will take up the proposal Wednesday or Thursday, said Shannon Murphy, a spokeswoman for Assembly Speaker Karen Bass.

"When we arrive at a responsible plan that can earn the support of the majority of the Assembly and make sense to the people of California, we will take that bill up on the Assembly floor," Bass, a Los Angeles Democrat, said in a statement.

Bass said legislators continue to meet with each other and law enforcement authorities to try to craft a plan that increases public safety, improves the state corrections department and reduces costs.

As part of the negotiations, a provision that would set up a 16-member sentencing commission - which would put new sentencing guidelines in place by 2012 - was stripped from the bill, Murphy said.

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Filed under: Crime & Punishment
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Annie Kate

    Let the prisoners renovate Alcatraz and then let them live there. Why have a legal system with sentencing for misdeeds if we have no place to put them? Being paroled or released because of "no room at the inn" doesn't discourage criminal activity like its suppose to, it just sends the message that you may be sent to jail but you probably won't stay long because there isn't the room to keep you.

    September 1, 2009 at 7:08 pm |
  2. DawnL,CA

    The California Assemby could not come up with a "responsible plan" for anything if their life depended upon it. I can hardly wait for the next election to get rid of these idiots. All of them. There is not a smart one in Sacramento. Did any one of them notice the mess California is in? No! They will just keep raising taxes on it's citizens & business until we all move. Then they will only have the illegal immigrants who do not pay taxes,but use up resources.
    I've lived in So.California for 64 yrs.-what a pity to see the state come to this.

    September 1, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  3. Julie

    I'm for outsourcing prisons for our most violent (and expensive) offenders to Mexico. If US corporations can locate factories overseas, why not our prisons? It costs upwards of $40,000 a year to house an offender. They have better medical care than your average American and it's free to them.

    A few days in a Mexican prison and maybe these guys will think about what they did. The current US prison system doesn't seem to be a deterrent to repeat offenders.

    September 1, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  4. Christina *L.A. California*

    JC-Los Angeles- The state of California already uses non violent offenders to fight these fires.

    September 1, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  5. GF, Los Angeles

    I say let the prisoners riot like they did in Chino and kill each other. I'm tired of my tax dollars supporting these criminals. They're far too dangerous to be let back out into society so let them kill each other in prison.

    September 1, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  6. Miriam Cooper, NY

    Tree statistics in USA

    Eucalytus – NIL
    Sandalwood – NIL NIL NIL
    Bamboo – NIL or very minimal for the focus on outdoor furnitures
    Teak – NIL
    Log homes – very good

    Either we use the drier states like TX and AZ for these plants, but on the whole we do need trees, so we cannot go around cutting everything. But we do need mountains to use either for our primary addiction – coffee/tea/flavored coffee

    September 1, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  7. Miriam Cooper, NY

    Hi Anderson,

    Anderson, as I wrote early last year – why dont we clean-up 10-15 mountains and start growing coffee/tea??? I am sure USA is the largest importer of coffee . On an average an American consumes 3 cups of coffee. An American consumes much more coffee compared to other countries. We cannot be importing 'fogers'. Moreover, there are very few countries which are out there blessed with yum coffee every street cornor like starbucks. Even for the entire New york state, I am sure coffee is imported. There is no harm having 10-15 varieties of coffee seeds. I have a strong feeling only CA to WA are the maximum states that can support coffee. I think Texas is quiet dry though you have land. We can use these mountain ranges, still keep the view and coffee/tea estates are tremendous views...even if 15 mountains are cleaned (the most try mountains to start with) and you import coffee plants (it takes 5-7 years to grow these plants), even if you import some level plants and test it on one mountain I am sure we can figure out whether we can proceed with this. See, once the soil is burnt you hold very less changes to grow coffee/tea. The other day I was suprised to see coffee trees in some parts of the world as in Andrew Zimmermans program. So, having a variety of coffee plants and trees is never a waste !!!! You have only the west coast for atleast 75% of plant growth – from mid-west to east is only 6 months of sunlight. You need these mountains. If they are just wasted with shrubs and small plants we might as well clean it , test the soil and start on tea/coffee.

    September 1, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  8. Miriam Cooper, NY

    Hi Anderson,

    "Something is better than nothing" – CA fire. But I wonder whether there is really anything that can stop the natural spread of fire. This is not rain water that is going to drop continuously to stop the fire – it is just a sprinkler system in our homes – especially the ones we buy at walmart which dances and sprays water !!! Again, there really isnt much you can do when you go against nature. I dont think we can go on manufacturing hoses to reach to the heights of trees. I am sure the fire at the root level can be stopped to a very minimal level, but once it makes it to a particular height I wonder whether the hose can make it that far. In reality, there is no point is saying we need to take care of these trees on regular basis – we still need tall trees, we still need eucalytus trees, sandalwood, teak and many more. Will it help if we have plenty of fire supply outlets compared to other states??? What if every 5th house has a water outlet? Then, you only need the firefighters to come and connect these hoses. I dont think everyone should be able to use these hoses, but even if every 5th house has a red color water outlet and even if a couple of fire fighters arrive, you still have enough time just to bring another 50 hoses to the scene to connect the remaining water outlets. Even a truck of 50 hoses , which means you are talking 50 X 5 houses = 250 immediate outlets of water in a matter of few minutes. Now, when is this plane going to find the fire on the ground, and when is this plane going to the lake, and when is this ancient-pattern bucket going to get filled with water and at that height it is only "water droplets", it is not a bucket of water – by the time the first bucket falls we might as well go for a good meal to burger king and come !!!! This is not natural rain water that is going to fall in a pattern – the plane is flying, and the water is falling down and when it reaches atleast 100 feet below it is only droplets, not anymore a bucket of water !!!! Again, you are talking of taking care of only residential area with water outlets. By the time the flame gains speed , that is main bark + branches + leaves + dried leaves on the ground + twings , you are talking a big widespread fire . Where is the water outlet for the mountains??? I dont think it is right to blame the government for this natural disaster, but again we need to figure out whether this is the same mountain range that is causing us concerns??? Is the humidity very high in these areas??? Is there a particular pocket that causes very dry air?? Can we do 'seeding' once a month and keep it cool once in 15 days during summer??? I dont think we can fight nature – end of story !!!! We are never going to win that battle, but we sure can figure out whether this is happening in the same spot and whether some measure can be taken on a regular basis !!!!

    September 1, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  9. zoe

    How about banishing them to an island CA and make them work on something like cleaning up the ocean bed? 🙂 Or at least make them wear those tracking devices for life....ooh, and make sure the law enforcement guys are actually tracking those devices. Letting them out free is a threat to our society ala Garrillo wacko.

    September 1, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  10. matt allen

    Well, being that marijuana is being more and more decriminalized, those in jail on drug charges should be the first to get out. They shouldn't be in there any ways and then we won't be putting dangerous criminals back on the streets. Just a thought....

    September 1, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  11. Ruth

    You have got to be kidding me, where are these felons going to wind up? On the streets? When they commit more crimes and need to be rearrested, where will they be placed?

    September 1, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  12. Mike Glazier

    I would really like to say, its great that we are getting out of the recession. The thing that I do not like or approve of is that I know that President Obama will be the first one to take credit for most of it, its going to happen simply because there are still doubters, against his ability to run the greatest nation around. He did not independantly go to each house and appartment and tell people to empty your pockets into the big business, instead he has drained the money surplus for the U.S. so all the money in your pockets and banks go to pay for that debt, and "boom" America is out of recession, no thanks to Obama. The thanks should be given to you and I the tax paying little man.

    September 1, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  13. JC- Los Angeles

    With California resembling a Third World country that's presently burning to the ground, perhaps the great minds running the state should put the 27,000 felons to use as firefighters.

    September 1, 2009 at 1:47 pm |