FROM Matthew Cate
Prisons, Jails and Alternative Punishments The US Supreme Court has ruled that California's overcrowded prisons constitute cruel and unusual punishment. To reduce the population, Governor Brown and the legislature enacted " realignment ," which provides that non-serious, non-violent, non-child abuse convicts be sentenced to county jails. That's where parole violators are going now, too. But the state prisons are still not emptying out fast enough, and three appellate court judges are threatening to order that inmates be released early. The goal is a population that's 137 percent of prison capacity. On Friday, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the CDCR, has been asked to tell the judges how it plans to achieve that by June of next year.
Non-Violent Felons to Move from State Prison to County Jail Tens of thousands of nonviolent felons will be serving time in county jails instead of state prisons. That's the law signed by Governor Brown last night. The catch is that, without the extended tax hikes he wants approved by the voters, there's no money to reimburse the counties for hundreds of millions of dollars in new expenses. Brown promises that the change won't happen until the money is there, but some law enforcement officers say it's still a bad idea.
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."
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.