The President Gets Ready to Speak; California Prison Reform
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California's under a federal court order to give prisoners more humane treatment and the state's trying to save money. What will reducing the prison population mean for crime on the streets? We talk with the Secretary of Corrections and Rehabilitation and others. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, just one year ago, Democrats were talking about a new political era. Now, President Obama faces a nation of angry voters. We'll set the scene for his first address on the State of the Nation.
Banner image: Secretary Cate of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation responds to the three-judge panel's 40,000 inmate release order
A Grim Backdrop ahead of the State of the Union ()
With all that's happened during the past year, it’s hard to believe that Barack Obama has yet to deliver his first address on the State of the Union.
- John Mercurio: Senior Editor, The Hotline
- Jonathan Cohn: Senior Editor, The New Republic, @CitizenCohn
- Philip Klein: Washington Correspondent, American Spectator, @philipaklein
- Tom Schaller: Professor of Political Science, University of Maryland
Reforming the California Prison System ()
A three-judge federal panel has found that California’s prisons are overcrowded to the point where inmates die almost on a daily basis. It’s ordered that prison populations be reduced. At the same time, a new state law has reformed the parole system. So-called "low risk" parolees won’t be supervised so intensely, which means they won’t be sent back to prison so often. The program started yesterday, and state officials insist that is not what some are calling "early release."
- Matthew Cate: Secretary, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
- Justin Eisenberg: Captain, Los Angeles Police Department
- Joan Petersilia: Chair, Governor Schwarzenegger’s Rehabilitation Strike Team
Which Way L.A.? is made possible in part by the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, and the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation, which supports study and research into policy issues of the Los Angeles region.
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