SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) today filed a revised plan with the federal three judge panel that addresses the panel’s concerns about the department’s previous filing submitted on September 18, 2009. The panel ordered the department to produce a population plan to meet the court’s operational capacity level of 137.5 percent by the end of 2011.
“We have thoroughly examined the court’s concerns and believe that this plan represents the best option to meet the court’s order,” said CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate.
“Although this plan meets the court mandate, we continue to believe our best option is the original plan already being implemented by the state that reduces the prison population over time without compromising public safety.”
The revised plan includes the proposals from the September 18, 2009 plan as well as additional options the court may consider. The department can only reach the court’s population goals with changes in state laws or federal court orders.
The department has implemented or plans to implement measures directly available to it through the Administration’s executive powers, including:
- developing and deploying the Parole Violation Decision Making Instrument statewide;
- maximizing the use of the currently authorized California Out-of-State Correctional Facility program;
- considering eligible undocumented inmates for commutation and deportation;
- discharging from parole illegal aliens who have been deported by the federal government; and
- utilizing electronic monitoring systems, such as global positioning systems (GPS), for eligible parole violators as an alternative to incarceration.
Other measures require changes in state law. In September 2009, the Administration was able to obtain legislative enactment of the following:
- summary parole – low-level, lower-risk offenders will no longer be placed on active parole, which will reduce the number of offenders returning to prison for parole violations; and
- credit earning enhancements – reduces time served for qualified inmates.
The Legislature declined to enact three of the Administration’s other proposed measures, including:
- increasing the monetary threshold for grand theft;
- providing alternative housing options for low-level offenders (alternative custody); and
- limiting sentencing options to county jail for certain criminal offenses.
The Administration is seeking a change in state law through the legislative process early next year to:
- increase the monetary threshold for grand theft;
- provide alternative custody housing options;
- seek authorization to continue the California Correctional Out-of-State Facility (COCF) program and to expand the number of inmates that can be held in custody out-of-state;
- seek legislative enactment of a law that would enable CDCR to accelerate construction of in-state capacity authorized by AB 900; and
- seek legislative enactment of a law that would expedite leasing, building and/or operating new beds through establishment of private vendor contracts to house inmates and operate private facilities in the state.
Today’s court filing does not derail the Department’s appeal of the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. CDCR filed its appeal in September and submitted a jurisdictional statement to the U.S. Supreme Court on October 5, 2009.
The November 12, 2009 Population Reduction Plan submitted to the court today will be posted to CDCR’s web site at www.cdcr.ca.gov once it is filed with the court.