Saturday, February 03, 2007

It looks like nobody except the Governor wants to export CDC inmates to other states. Because of overcrowding and the threat of a Federal takeover of the State prison system, the quick solution seems to be sending inmates out of state to privately owned prisons. The activists like the Prison Law Office don't want it. And neither does the correction officer's union. It's rare when those two bodies find themselves in agreement on anything.

The CO's union, naturally, wants California to build more prisons and hire more COs, something that will naturally swell the ranks of the union and make it even more powerful than it already is. The CO union has a lot of juice in Sacramento and calls a lot of shots that shape policy. The activists don't want it because they claim it's runs counter to the State constitution.

And then, of course, the inmates and their overlords don't like it either because it erodes some of their power. A quote from the LA Times article this morning:

"Many others [inmates] were dissuaded from volunteering [for transer out of state], officials said, by prison gang leaders and rumors that a court-ordered prison cap could force the early release of thousands of convicts.

One of the weird wrinkles is that the owners of these out of state prisons played some CDC inmates a 20 minute commercial on how nice their prisons are. The commercial showed the good food, recreational activities, cable TV and other amenities. The pitch sounds so good, you have to wonder if they'll start selling time shares in the tiers. "It's not just prison, it's a vacation." "Tennessee prisons: more than doing time, it's an adventure." "The cells of New Mexico: a land of enchantment." I think we should put our heads together to come up with some catchy headlines and send them to the Governor.