When I read this I just thought, “Really, Jerry Brown? Really?” He vetoed a bill that would have given judges more discretion to reduce sentences for low level drug offenders while simultaneously signing a new contract with a private prison company to take over a closed prison to house more inmates.
On Saturday, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) vetoed a bill that would have led to reduced sentences in many cases involving possession of small amounts of illicit drugs and eased the state’s overcrowded prison crisis.
Far from enacting radical reform, the legislation would merely give judges and prosecutors more flexibility to treat simple possession of cocaine or heroine as a misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to a year in prison rather than the current three years for a felony…
Meanwhile, Brown signed a second private prison contract to take on a portion of California’s massive prison population, as Corrections Corporation of America announced Tuesday. A federal court recently ruled that California cannot solve its overcrowded prison problem by trucking inmates off to private prisons in other states, putting a damper on Brown’s costly plan to use private prisons rather than release low-level offenders as ordered by the court. Under this new deal, CCA will take over a federal detention facility in California City and turn it into a state prison.
California’s prisons are massively overcrowded, so much so that the state is under a court order to fix it. The solution is not to open more prisons, especially ones run by private companies, it is to stop locking up so many people on minor drug offenses.