Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Gov. Jerry Brown calls on feds to give up oversight of prisons

A combative Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday declared that "the prison crisis is over in California" and demanded an end to years of intervention by federal judges and expensive edicts designed to reduce crowding and improve inmate healthcare.

"At some point, the job's done," Brown said at a Capitol news conference before catching a plane for Los Angeles, where he repeated the message. "We spent billions of dollars" complying with the court orders, the governor said. "It is now time to return control of our prison system to California."

Brown's push came as the state was faced with a deadline to produce a plan to further shrink the number of inmates in its 33 prisons. Late Monday night, the administration unveiled its proposal — "under protest" — but also filed motions calling for an end to caps on the inmate population and judicial oversight of mental health care.

The state also planned to seek to end federal control over all forms of inmate healthcare, the governor said.

"We can't pour more and more dollars down the rat hole of incarceration," Brown said Tuesday.

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