Governor Brown to Justice Kennedy: “And by God, let those judges give us our prisons back.”

January 10th, 2013

Well not exactly, bu close. In Brown v. Plata, the Supreme Court, per Justice Kennedy, ordered California to reduce prison overcrowding to the tune of roughly forty-thousand prisoners.¬†Shortly after the opinion dropped, Governor Brown indicated he would ask for an extension. Last year, California released a report suggesting that it would fall short of the Court’s order.

It seems that California will not be able to comply with these deadlines, as the Governor’s comments from a press conference suggest:

  • “The prison emergency is over in California.”
  • “California is a powerful state. We can run our own prisons. And by God, let those judges give us our prisons back. We’ll run them right.”
  • “We’ve got hundreds of lawyers wandering around the prisons looking for problems.”
  • “We’ve reduced over 43,000 (inmates). People act like nothing happened. Billions and billions have been spent. … The prison groups, they actually beat down the great state of California. We’ve shaped up; we’re standing at attention; we’re ready to go forward. I’ve taken their own expert and I’ve made him head of corrections. So what more do they want?”
  • “Some people say there are not enough dangerous felons on the street; we have another group that says, ‘Wait a minute, stop, we’ve got too many.’ I think we’ve hit the right balance… We have to bring down our prison spending, our correctional costs as we invest more money in our schools and our education.”
  • “If we give in to the extremes, we will either create a threat to public¬†safety or spend billions of dollars more.”
  • “We don’t have a lot of money. We gotta pay down the wall of debt. We have uncertain economic times. We can’t pour more and more money down the rat hole of incarceration. We have to spend as much as we need but no more, and I think we’ve hit that point.”
  • “We’ve spent billions and billions of money that’s not going to child care, that’s not going to schools, that’s not going to higher ed. It’s going to gold plate, at this point, our prisons.

Your move judges. Here is their motion to vacate the population cap.