By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– Senator Steve Knight (R-Antelope Valley), as co-author of the prison reform measure, is gratified that the Governor signed the bill into law Thursday. Senate Bill 105 is an effort to comply with the Supreme Court’s order to reduce California’s prison population by increasing the number of cells rather than releasing upwards of 10,000 inmates.
“Releasing 10,000 dangerous felons is not an option,” said Senator Knight. “It is time we accept the gravity and reality of the situation, and put provisions in place that protect law-abiding, innocent Californians.”
In 2009, California was ordered to shrink its inmate population to about 110,000 inmates among its existing state prisons, well below highs that have reached 160,000 in the past.
Assembly Bill 109, which allows for the transfer of inmates from state prisons to county or city jails, was implemented in October 2011 as an attempt to comply with the federal order. However, it has proven to be woefully flawed, creating serious public safety concerns and causing local jurisdictions to release criminals due to exceptional overcrowding. Even so, the mandated population reduction requirements have still not been met and the state had to find a way to reduce the population by 10,000 inmates by year’s end.
Provisions of SB 105 will authorize out-of-state beds, beds at private prisons, and beds at local jails, where applicable.
“This plan will ensure that safe communities and neighborhoods for California families remain the top priority,” Knight concluded.