Schwarzenegger Warns of Crisis In Calif. Prisons

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The New York Sun

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Warning that the nation’s largest prison system is dangerously overcrowded, Governor Schwarzenegger yesterday summoned lawmakers into a special session to decide whether to build two new prisons and adopt other relief measures.

The special legislative session will start today.

In a speech to the California District Attorneys Association, Mr. Schwarzenegger said a system designed for 100,000 inmates had nearly 172,000 as of last week. “Our prisons are at a crisis point right now because the state of California has not planned adequately for our future,” Mr. Schwarzenegger said. “We are at an all-time high right now, and we are rapidly running out of space.”

Mr. Schwarzenegger wants to free up prison space for men by housing 4,500 women in private prisons, a plan rejected by legislative negotiators recently.

Last week, a federal watchdog appointed to oversee California prison reforms accused the Schwarzenegger administration of backpedaling on needed changes.

The New York Sun

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