State Prisons and Politics in an Election Year

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California prisons once were a national model, but lately they're being called a disgrace. Last week, a federal judge appointed a receiver to take over medical care because one inmate has been dying every week from incompetence or neglect. The massive system also has the nation's highest rate of recidivism, parolees who've served their sentences and are sent back for committing more crimes. Governor Schwarzenegger promised to end that by restoring the idea of rehabilitation. Today, his principal reformer, a 20-year veteran prison guard, turned in his resignation. After two years, Corrections Secretary Roderick Hickman said he lacked political support--across the board. What's next for a massive system that's become a national scandal?
  • Making News: The Death of Otis Chandler
    As publisher from 1960 until 1980, Otis Chandler turned the Los Angeles Times into a highly respected journalistic institution. Chandler died early today at the age of 78 from Lewy body disease. Former Times City Editor Bill Boyarsky, senior consultant for the Center for Governmental Studies and an adjunct professor at USC's Annenberg School for Communication, remembers the man who turned the Times into one of America's major papers.

LA Times on death of Otis Chandler

California State Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Secretary Roderick Hickman

Plata v Schwarzenegger (order appointing federal receiver for delivery of medical services to state hospitals)

Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

Sacramento Bee on Hickman's resignation



Warren Olney


Frances Anderton