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
More From Which Way, L.A.?
Which Way, LA? The Question that Won't Go Away 23 years ago, the fires of the Rodney King riots were burning and the sirens wailing when KCRW first asked, WWLA? We've been through fires, floods, earthquakes and massive social, cultural and economic change. While this is the last program titled WWLA? the question still needs to be asked. We talk with a group of important and thoughtful people about what LA has become and about the challenges to be faced in the future…as we continue.
Then and Now: Is LA Still the Car Capital of the World? Urban planners got some bad news today. Ridership on public transit in Southern California is on the decline, despite the billions being spent in recent years to build light rail and subway lines. Why aren't more drivers leaving their cars at home, as traffic gets more congested than ever? Meantime, there's a shortage of money to repair aging roads, bridges and other parts of the infrastructure. We look at the impact on the state's economy.
Does California Have a Double Standard for the Public's Protection? Porter Ranch and Vernon are mirror images of each other. In one, schools have been closed and thousands of residents are being moved away by the polluter—just months after a natural gas leak was discovered. In the other, residents complained for years about health risks to school children from exposure to lead and arsenic from a battery recycling plant— until the federal government finally stepped in.
Is 'Warfare' a Thing of the Past at the LAPD? Video of police misconduct wasn’t as common 25 years ago as it is today. The spectacle of LAPD officers beating Rodney King was a wake-up call, but didn’t persuade a jury in Simi Valley. When the cops received not-guilty verdicts, the city exploded. We hear from veteran officers who say they’ve changed. What about their tactics? Have they gained the trust of marginalized communities and people of color?
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Calif. Governor’s race: Travis Allen interview Republican Assemblyman Travis Allen represents Huntington Beach. Allen missed out on President Trump’s endorsement, but he says he still supports him and his agenda. Allen talks to us about immigration, his support for a border wall, and… Read More
The most competitive races and measures on the Santa Barbara and Ventura primary ballot It’s primary season! Voter materials have already arrived for those with vote-by-mail ballots, and election day is quickly approaching on Tuesday, June 5. Santa Barbara June primaries Here’s a look at… Read More