The United States Supreme Court ordered a massive inmate transfer to relieve California’s crowded prisons. The Los Angeles Times stated, “The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that California must remove tens of thousands of inmates from its prison rolls in the next two years, and state officials vowed to comply, saying they hoped to do so without setting any criminals free.” Tens of thousands of inmates will be transferred from state prisons to county prisons in the next two years. The goal is to not release them at all, but to transfer custody of them.
In the U.S. Supreme Court ruling and the L.A. Times, they made it sound as though prisoners would be released into society early, using the words “release” interchangeably with “transfer” when in fact, this is not the case. Neither the U.S. government, state of California, nor Los Angeles County intends to release any prisoners early. Housing prisoners in county jails for the time being will still cost a lot of money. However, there are plans to build more prisons in the future. Governor Brown proposed raising that money by extending the tax hike, which is due to expire on July 1st, 2011. Higher taxes may be, quite literally, the price we have to pay to keep criminals off the streets.