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."
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?