Are California Prisons in for a Fix?

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California prisons now house 172,000 inmates--twice as many as they were designed to house.  The healthcare system is so bad it's in federal receivership. Two federal judges have given the state until June to get a handle on overcrowding and improve conditions or face a cap on the prison population.  The Sacramento Bee reports that Governor Schwarzenegger met yesterday with Democratic and Republican legislative leaders, the second such meeting in less than three weeks and one that brought them close to agreement. The Governor wants to build more prisons, but that can't be done soon enough to meet the June deadline.  We speak with a prisoner advocate and the head of the state prison system about possible alternatives.



  • Ron Tipton - Senior VP for Programs, National Parks Conservation Association
  • Don Specter - Prison Law Office


Warren Olney