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Supreme Court orders release of over 30,000 prisoners in California to … improve health care
Hotair ^ | 05/23/2011 | Ed Morrissey

Posted on 05/24/2011 6:56:50 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

California will have to release over 30,000 inmates from its prison system to comply with a Supreme Court ruling earlier today. The court cited chronic violations of inmates’ rights in its 5-4 decision. The reductions will improve the delivery of health care services to the remaining inmates, claims the majority:

The Supreme Court on Monday endorsed a court order requiring California to cut its prison population by tens of thousands of inmates to improve health care for those who remain behind bars.

The court said in a 5-4 decision that the reduction is “required by the Constitution” to correct longstanding violations of inmates’ rights. The order mandates a prison population of no more than 110,000 inmates, still far above the system’s designed capacity.

There are more than 142,000 inmates in the state’s 33 adult prisons, meaning roughly 32,000 inmates will need to be transferred to other jurisdictions or released.

Anthony Kennedy joined the four liberal jurists in the decision, while the four conservatives were aghast at the implications. Calling the ruling “perhaps the most radical injunction issued by a court in our nation’s history,” Antonin Scalia’s dissent predicted a higher number of releases, 46,000. Those may end up going to county jurisdictions rather than state prisons, or perhaps sent to other states with more room in their penal system, but that will cost California money the state simply doesn’t have.

The immediate effect of the order will almost certainly be a large-scale release. That will increase pressure on an already-overburdened parole system and send career criminals back to ply their trade in communities throughout the state — and the country. The increased costs on communities won’t help the state improve medical care to prisoners; it’s more likely to sap the state’s treasury.

This poses other questions as well. What is California supposed to do with convicts now? If they can’t add to the current level of inmates, then they’re going to have to release even more on a one-for-one basis, putting revolving doors on the prisons again. The same will be true in other states, which had joined California in opposing the order, which now have to operate under a new Supreme Court mandate on prison populations.

The state could build more prisons, which would solve the problem. Unfortunately, California spent its money on practically everything but new prisons over the last few decades. The average age of their prisons was 55 years in 2009′s report from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. California has a responsibility to invest in its prison infrastructure, as well as a responsibility to provide for the safety and basic health needs of its inmates. But the Supreme Court has its own responsibility to keep criminals from victimizing their communities, too. This looks like a big failure all the way around.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; US: California
KEYWORDS: california; caprisons; healthcare; overcrowding; prisoner; prisons; scotus; supremecourt

1 posted on 05/24/2011 6:56:54 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Wow, just wow.

Is this the job of the Supreme Court? I think not.


2 posted on 05/24/2011 7:01:39 AM PDT by precisionshootist
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To: SeekAndFind

And the SC should be held liable if any of those released cause harm to any person. The truth is that those in the prison system don’t get better they get worse while incarcerated. Shame on the SC.


3 posted on 05/24/2011 7:06:35 AM PDT by jerseyrocks
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To: SeekAndFind; Nachum; sheik yerbouty; null and void; oneamericanvoice; doug from upland; ...

Apparently, the SOTUS doesn’t give a damn about the law abiding citizens of CA. Is the SOTUS going to defend the citizens of CA from these thugs or release them in DC to walk among the thugs in DC?

More destruction from the Elitist political class!


4 posted on 05/24/2011 7:06:47 AM PDT by ExTexasRedhead
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To: SeekAndFind
This is an example of Cloward–Piven strategy
of slow motion Anarchy by the SCOTUS.

5 posted on 05/24/2011 7:07:32 AM PDT by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
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To: SeekAndFind

6 posted on 05/24/2011 7:10:00 AM PDT by laotzu
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To: ExTexasRedhead

I’d wager most anything that the five justices that voted for this horror live in guarded and gated communities. The city and county of Los Angeles, which is a pesthole under normal circumstances, should soon become unlivable.


7 posted on 05/24/2011 7:11:16 AM PDT by Melchior
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To: SeekAndFind

It’s clearly a bad decision, but California could just build more prisons which would solve the problem. Unfortunately, now the Supreme Court has set a precedent and courts all over the nation will now be in the business of determining what “overcrowding” is instead of the voters. This will spark a flurry of lawsuits since many prison systems are overcrowded. The choice at this point for states is either build more prisons or let more criminals go.


8 posted on 05/24/2011 7:15:05 AM PDT by Longbow1969
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To: precisionshootist
The case managed to get that far because of laws passed by Congress.

The decision, however, clearly demonstrates that 5 of the members of the court are totally delusional. If they weren't already judges we'd have them committed to a hospital for the criminally insane.

9 posted on 05/24/2011 7:16:02 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: SeekAndFind

I hope this isn’t an indication of how Kennedy would vote on Obamacare.


10 posted on 05/24/2011 7:18:23 AM PDT by Siena Dreaming
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To: SeekAndFind

They want a disruption of society...to bring it down. What better way than to release over 30,000 prisoners onto the mainly unarmed citizens. Insanity or intentional?


11 posted on 05/24/2011 7:27:59 AM PDT by WKUHilltopper (Fix bayonets!)
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To: SeekAndFind

almost makes you want to give every newly paroled hood in Cal-ee-fohr-nya a bus ticket and a card with Anthony Kennedy’s home address...almost.....


12 posted on 05/24/2011 7:28:51 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: ExTexasRedhead

I have lost faith in the country I served for 30 years in the service. I do not recognize her anymore. I would NOT encourage anyone to go in the service now either..not with the removal of DADT and the social engineering going on now.


13 posted on 05/24/2011 7:31:32 AM PDT by celtic gal
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To: SeekAndFind

The problem all stems from California’s spending, and refusal to deal with the illegal immigration problem.

California could afford more prisons, were it not for our jacked up spending priorities. Rather than deport the prisoners back to Mexico where they’ll be back in a week committing more crimes, we need to make the overall welfare and business climate unfavorable to illegals. This will cut down on the drain on state resources, and ‘drain the swamp’ of elements where crime can flourish or grow.

We can also revise what we put people in jail for, loosen up CA’s ridiculous gun laws to easy issue of CCW permits, and slash spending anywhere the unions are involved.

While the end result of people being let out of prison on a technicality hurts, it’s the right thing to do in the face of California’s horrible mismanagement of the situation. If we are going to put people in prison, we need to treat them humanely. The Supreme Court is right to uphold basic human rights, even for prisoners. CA can more than afford to do this right if we so desired, but our leaders are suicidally bent on liberal spending boondoggles that are bankrupting us.


14 posted on 05/24/2011 7:34:11 AM PDT by Steel Wolf ("There are moderate Muslims, but Islam itself is not moderate." - Ibn Warraq)
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To: SeekAndFind

Then charge Mexico for the housing of all their illegals in our prisons! What the hell is the problem here? They got oil. They got money. Take it from them until they learn to keep their own on their side.


15 posted on 05/24/2011 7:34:37 AM PDT by Dogbert41
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To: SeekAndFind

Ginsberg, Soda Jerk, Kagen, Breyer, joined by Kennedy.

Presidents do shape our future.


16 posted on 05/24/2011 7:39:44 AM PDT by Venturer
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To: SeekAndFind

The national impact should be interesting. These mistreated potential liberal voters are mobile, gang indoctrinated, convicted felons. The operative word being mobile, as in not physically restricted to a single state or jurisdiction upon release.
No wonder the wolves of left are screaming for more restrictions on the prey species.


17 posted on 05/24/2011 7:39:55 AM PDT by Steamburg (The contents of your wallet is the only language Politicians understand.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Wouldn’t it be better to solve the problem of better health care, perhaps calling on the medical profession for help and advice, than to simply remove these people from the prisons?

They could work out a plan to provide medical care and facilities outside of the prison walls.

Where will they get health care on the outside if not in the established medical facilties and programs for the indigent?


18 posted on 05/24/2011 7:42:32 AM PDT by wildbill (You're just jealous because the Voices talk only to me.)
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To: Longbow1969

As another poster said somewhere else on FR, this is the left’s way to get back at 3 strikes laws and circumvent voters again.

It’s a self-fullfilling prophecy. Underfund prisons, then complain about overcrowding so you can let the felons out.

Next will be a (harder)push by CA leftists to allow felons to vote.


19 posted on 05/24/2011 7:51:10 AM PDT by WOBBLY BOB ( "I don't want the majority if we don't stand for something"- Jim Demint)
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Forget the Mexico border fence. We need a fence around California - and quickly.


20 posted on 05/24/2011 7:56:37 AM PDT by Rio
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To: SeekAndFind

I was really mad about this yesterday, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought there might be some good from this. Those 46,000 thugs aren’t going to go to Beverly Hills. They will, for the most part, return to areas that vote Democrat. There are naturally occurring consequences to stupid decisions and behaviors. For many years, the Republicans have had to come in and clean up after the Democrats like parents cleaning up after a drunken teenage party. This has enabled the Democrats to continue on in their dysfunctional ways while they blame everything on the Republicans. Now, when a tsunami of crime hits the Democrat voting areas, they can all thank Jerry Brown and Nancy and Barbara and...


21 posted on 05/24/2011 7:57:12 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: blueunicorn6

When the tsunami of crime hits.
Think of what a liberal governer would do with that situation.
And the supremes won’t stop with California.


22 posted on 05/24/2011 8:04:08 AM PDT by Texas resident (Hunkered Down)
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To: ExTexasRedhead

Fire all prison guards send all prisoners to Texas at one third the cost (or even half), budget balanced and more thug union hung up to dry.


23 posted on 05/24/2011 8:23:39 AM PDT by Foolsgold (L I B Lacking in Brains)
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To: SeekAndFind

They should follow sherif Joe’s solution and create “tent cities” in the Mojave Desert to house inmates. It is cheap and it has worked for us in Phoenix. Nobody wants to go back twice.


24 posted on 05/24/2011 8:24:26 AM PDT by WMarshal (Where is the next Sam Adams?)
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To: precisionshootist

We agree but the root of the crowding problem are victimless crimes, especially the war on drugs, and our reliance on incarceration rather than restitution for non-violent offenders..


25 posted on 05/24/2011 8:29:15 AM PDT by Captain Kirk
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To: All; Longbow1969
Back in 2007, Arnold & the Legislature passed AB900 which was aimed at solving overcrowding by, among other things, adding 40,000 new beds via prison construction. The federal courts, however, no other solution was good enough EXCEPT releasing prisoners.

Unfortunately, now the Supreme Court has set a precedent and courts all over the nation will now be in the business of determining what “overcrowding” is instead of the voters. This will spark a flurry of lawsuits since many prison systems are overcrowded.

And each of those lawsuits will lower the bar further and further on what constitutes "overcrowding" just like they've made it harder and harder to execute prisoners by finding new ways to call methods of execution "cruel and unusual."

26 posted on 05/24/2011 8:33:59 AM PDT by newzjunkey
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To: SeekAndFind

Prison guards union may fight it because for every 45 prisoners released one guard gets terminated.


27 posted on 05/24/2011 9:39:17 AM PDT by Vaduz
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To: Captain Kirk

“We agree but the root of the crowding problem are victimless crimes, especially the war on drugs, and our reliance on incarceration rather than restitution for non-violent offenders..”

Yes we do agree. Is it just me or is government so big and out of control it appears we will never be able to fix it?


28 posted on 05/24/2011 11:56:23 AM PDT by precisionshootist
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To: SeekAndFind

If I were head of that state I’d tell the Supremes to come open the gates themselves. Our citizens have enough trouble and don’t need 40000 felons turned loose.. Doesn’t anyone have any cohones left...


29 posted on 05/24/2011 2:50:47 PM PDT by goat granny
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To: SeekAndFind

Being that the Federal Bureau of Prisons does not break down or have a category for “undocumented migrant workers” I doubt that anyone can give an accurate or true answer. But please let me explain those given percentages of “25-30%” and “at least 30 percent”. (in part)

‘Quick Facts About the Bureau of Prisons” {my added parenthesizes}

“Inmate Population
Total population: 209,360
Total sentenced population: 190,571
Inmates in BOP facilities: 172,530
Inmates in privately-managed secure facilities {1}: 22,665
Inmates in other contract facilities {2}: 14,165

1 Includes inmates housed in privately-managed secure facilities under contract with the BOP or with a state or local government that has an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the BOP.
2 Includes inmates housed in community corrections centers, home confinement, jail/short-term detention, contract juveniles, and long-term boarders.

“Inmate Breakdown”

Inmates By Security Level
Minimum: 17.3 % Low: 38.0 % Medium: 29.3 % High: 11.0 % Unclassified1: 4.2 %

Inmates By Gender
Male: 195,899 (93.6 %)
Female: 13,461 (6.4 %)

Inmates By Race
White: 120,991 (57.8 %)
Black: 81,048 (38.7 %)
Native American: 3,766 (1.8 %)
Asian: 3,555 (1.7 %)

Ethnicity
Hispanic: 69,055 (33.0 %)

Inmate Age
Average Inmate Age: 39

Citizenship
United States: 154,769 (73.9 %)
Mexico: 36,610 (17.5 %)
Colombia: 2,602 (1.2 %)
Cuba: 1,754 (0.8 %)
Dominican Republic: 2,562 (1.2 %)
Other/Unknown: 11,063 (5.3 %)

1 These inmates have not yet been assigned a security level.
http://www.bop.gov/news/quick.jsp#2
http://www.bop.gov/news/weekly_report.js…;


30 posted on 05/24/2011 7:21:18 PM PDT by stocksthatgoup (Wealth = Net Worth ...........Income = Net Work!)
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To: jerseyrocks

Let those who were responsible for this travesty do the time left on all the sentences..


31 posted on 05/26/2011 10:16:58 AM PDT by sheik yerbouty ( Make America and the world a jihad free zone!)
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To: sheik yerbouty

Great idea.


32 posted on 05/26/2011 12:17:10 PM PDT by jerseyrocks
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