The conservative approach to criminal justice:
fighting crime, supporting victims, and protecting taxpayers.

Court Orders a Prison Release, but California Doesn’t Know How to Do It

| June 10, 2011

By November 28th, California must get 10,000 prisoners out of its state prison system to meet the first Brown v. Plata benchmark.  Unfortunately, according to the Sacramento Bee, the state has no clue to how to do it.

Governor Jerry Brown hopes to solve the problem by transferring low-level state prisoners, primarily parole violators, to county prisons.  Emphasizing public safety concerns, Brown is encouraging lawmakers to authorize his plan so California may avoid a large, uncontrolled prisoner release.

This plan, however, hinges upon the legislature passing Brown’s budget that includes extensions of sizeable tax increases. Conservatives in the state legislature have opposed these extensions, and they plausibly accuse Gov. Brown of preying on the public’s fear, simply so that he may have his budget and tax increases enacted under the guise of public safety.

Either way, November 28th approaches quickly, and it will be interesting to see what California comes up with.


RIGHT ON CRIME is a national campaign to promote successful, conservative solutions on American criminal justice policy—reforming the system to ensure public safety, shrink government, and save taxpayers money. By sharing research and policy ideas and mobilizing strong conservative voices, we work to raise awareness of the growing support for effective reforms within the conservative movement. We are transforming the debate on criminal justice in America.