California Prison Crowding Crisis Sparks Transfers Out-of-State
Severe overcrowding in California prisons sparks efforts by the state government to alleviate the pressure.
The crisis came to the fore after a federal judge warned that he would start releasing convicts early or prohibit convict transfers from the state to county level if efforts were not made, as reported by the Associated Press. The ruling prompted Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to authorize voluntary and involuntary transfers to out-of-state prisons.
The Los Angeles Times reported how early efforts by the state government after the governor's announcement included a marketing campaign, intended to persuade inmates to voluntarily transfer to other institutions throughout the country. Part of the campaign included the screening of a film "extolling the virtues of out-of-state prisons and reminding convicts of the violent, overcrowded, racially charged conditions they face in California."
The Times details in length the numerous legal implications facing the governor and the state as a direct result of the overcrowding crisis, such as the shaky legality of the governor's suspension of the law requiring an inmate's consent before a transfer, as well as the likeliness of challenges brought before the court by involuntary transfers.