This weekend's outbreak of violence at Chino State Prison provided more evidence of the urgent need for prison reform in California. Can Governor Schwarzenegger and the Legislature improve the system before conditions deteriorate even more? Plus, who's paying the bills for Governor Schwarzenegger's big party this week in Sacramento?
FROM THIS EPISODE
A thousand inmates at the Chino State Prison are still on lockdown three days after an eruption of bloody violence. The riot itself occurred just ten days after Governor Schwarzenegger unveiled his latest plans for prison reform. Federal courts have given the Governor until June to reform California's prison system. If he and the legislature fail, the result could be mandatory releases of inmates before their sentences have been served or a cap on the prison population. Currently, there are 174,000 prisoners in a system built for 100,000. This weekend's violent outbreak at Chino provided more evidence of just what that means. With federal courts threatening to let inmates out as soon as this June, we'll look at the options.
Jenifer Warren, Staff writer for the Los Angeles Times
Steve Fama, Staff attorney with the Prison Law Office
Chuck Alexander, Executive Vice President of the California Correctional Peace Officers Association
When Governor Schwarzenegger took office after his special election three years ago, his inaugural cost a modest $200,000. This week, Sacramento will see at least $1.3 million worth of festivities, including a black-tie gala designed by Carl Bendix, who produces events like the Governor's Ball for the Oscars. Supporters say it's time to celebrate, and plenty of Democrats are invited. One critic calls it a "slush fund" for "secret [political] access."
Judy Dugan, Research Director of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights