California gets the OK to send convicts out of state to ease prison overcrowding while a legal challenge to the plan is weighed.
— Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger' s plan to ease prison overcrowding by
sending convicts out of state has been allowed to proceed while a state
appellate court weighs a legal challenge to it.
have said they intend to transfer 5,000 inmates to out-of-state prisons
by the end of the year. Transfers will resume next month, said
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokesman Bill Sessa.
prisoners is a key element of Schwarzenegger' s plan to show a federal
judge that the state is moving aggressively to ease overcrowding.
signed legislation last month that allows the state to transfer up to
8,000 inmates against their will until 2012.
Roughly 360 inmate volunteers already have been moved to lockups in Arizona and Tennessee.
Schwarzenegger announced in February that he would forcibly shift
thousands of prisoners, the California Correctional and Peace Officers
A Sacramento County Superior Court judge ruled in
favor of the prison guards in late February, saying that overcrowding
is not justification for suspension of civil service rules that
prohibit the use of private employees for jobs normally done by public
The Schwarzenegger administration appealed and won a
temporary stay Friday from the 3rd District Court of Appeal pending its
final decision, which could take a year or longer.
transfers will improve the safety of California's institutions for our
correctional officers and staff, as well as the inmates,"
Schwarzenegger said in a statement, "and will provide much-needed space
for rehabilitation programs."
Lance Corcoran of the prison
guards union disagreed. He said the threat of being transferred
thousands of miles from home will create "an extremely volatile
situation" among inmates.