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California has failed to reduce the overcrowding of state prisons to the point where it's no longer so dangerous that it's unconstitutional. Three federal judges want a list of inmates who could be released before their sentences have been completed, and the state has until Friday to come up with it, though that's very unlikely. We hear what that could mean for prisons, county jails and prospect of designing more cost effective ways of punishing those convicted of crimes. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, the Arab Spring gets a new look in Egypt.

Banner image: California Department of Corrections

Main Topic Prisons, Jails and Alternative Punishments 26 MIN, 37 SEC

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.

Matthew Cate, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Drew Soderborg, California Legislative Analyst's Office
Curtis J. Hill, California State Sheriffs' Association (formerly)
Hanna Dershowitz, ACLU of Southern California

Main Topic The Arab Spring Gets a New Look in Egypt 23 MIN, 2 SEC

167x120 image for tp120815changing_of_the_guarAfter last year's revolution in Egypt, Generals from the ousted Mubarak regime disbanded the elected parliament and limited the powers of incoming President Mohammed Morsi. This weekend, Morsi struck back, forcing the generals into retirement, installed replacements, gave himself control over the drafting of a new constitution, and even replaced the editors of state-owned newspapers. What does that mean for democracy, the Muslim Brotherhood, and relations with Israel and the United States? 

Photo: Retired former Egyptian Defense Minister Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi (L) shakes hands with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi at the Presidential Palace in Cairo on August 14, 2011. Reuters

The Arab Uprising

Marc Lynch

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