California may send thousands of female prisoners home
Male prisoners are housed in a gymnasium in California's Chino State Prison last December. The state is under federal order to reduce prison crowding.
September 13th, 2011
12:23 PM ET

California may send thousands of female prisoners home

Thousands of women inmates from California prisons could soon be released to be reunited with their families under a program the state began implementing on Monday.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said offenders whose crimes were nonviolent, nonserious and not sexual, with less than two years remaining on their sentences, are eligible for the Alternative Custody Program, which was signed into law in 2010 by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

“Approximately two-thirds of CDCR’s female inmates are mothers whose children are either with relatives or are in foster care,” CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate said in a press release. “ACP is a step in breaking the intergenerational cycle of incarceration, as family involvement is one of the biggest indicators of an inmate’s rehabilitation.”

About 45% of the state's 10,000 female inmates may be eligible for the program, the CDCR said. It may be made available to male inmates in the future, the department said.

Those admitted to the program will wear electronic monitors and be supervised by a parole agent, the CDCR said. They can serve their remaining time at home or in a residential substance-abuse or transitional-care facility, according to the agency.

The prisoners will be allowed to find jobs or attend classes during their release, the department said.

The state of California should save about $6 million a year under the program, the CDCR estimated.

California is under federal pressure to reduce inmate populations. The Supreme Court this summer upheld a lower court ruling that medical and mental health care for inmates in the state prison system falls below the level required by the Constitution.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law in April a plan to reduce prison crowding by moving 33,000 low-level offenders to county jails. But the state is cash-strapped, and funding for that plan, estimated at $460 million in the first year, must be approved by voters in November.

California has the nation's largest prison system.

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Filed under: California • Courts • Justice • Prisons
soundoff (713 Responses)
  1. blobclark

    if u cant do the time , dont do the crime !

    September 15, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. rick

    Who cares about a bunch of prison putas anyway!!

    September 15, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ole


      September 17, 2011 at 4:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Big O


      September 17, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Guest

    I have some space in my basement for a few.Ill do my part

    September 15, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jason

    So they save $4 million by releasing them but none will get jobs and then Social Services will spend double that providing rent/food/supplies to them. Great plan people.

    September 16, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ole

      So it's better to keep them locked up?

      September 17, 2011 at 4:46 am | Report abuse |
    • rich

      This is what happens when movie stars play governor.

      September 17, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ole

    That's awesome, we need the money.

    September 17, 2011 at 4:45 am | Report abuse |
  6. tif31

    Why do we think just because a person is in jail its because of drugs. What about money exstoration to many misdenor become a felony for tickets are what not. Why not let them out for a low nonvolient crime and let them get themselves together with a little help.

    September 17, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • rich

      Your a democrat I presume

      September 17, 2011 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
  7. keylawna

    Okay but the question here is how much will they cost everyone on the outside? They are in jail for a reason and if it's not violent than money may be the reason they are in there in the first place. So now they steal, go on welfare, and end up costing us more than the few bucks it costs them to stay in jail. I don't understand why they are not forced to work in jail and pay the bills! Heck if I had to work in prison and then pay to be locked up with nothing left at the end of the day, I would think twice! Get them jobs in prison and make them pay for the costs, boy thats a hard one people!

    September 18, 2011 at 4:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Nate C

      Right,forced labor (aka slavery) is the answer to solving our "problem" with people who grow plants in attics and smoke plant flowers in the privacy of their own homes. Please do our nation a favor and DONT vote.

      September 18, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. aaron

    Stop the madness already. so many states are locking up individuals for what ever reasons, so they can keep the privatized prison system in business. now its a problem!! "under pressure from the federal government"(umm). if they spend the money where needed a lot of incarcerations could be avoided!!

    September 18, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. joesense

    just to be safe, i am buying a few guns and enhancing the security system in my house. wow, arnie. brilliant lateral thinking, Please don't be back.

    September 22, 2011 at 12:11 am | Report abuse |
  10. Minx

    Is this another mistake made by our government

    September 22, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  11. pete

    for every one of these they release early, the ICE should deport TEN more illegals to cover the costs.

    September 25, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Michael Steane

    Why are men being discriminated against in this way.
    There are plenty of men in prison for non-violent crimes. For example there are men in prison for not paying child support for children who DNA tests have shown not to be their own. There are those in prison because they have the courage to refuse to pay alimony. There are others in prison because they are unable to pay extortionate rates of child support levied because courts get a cut of the amount trafficked. These are the people who should be released.

    October 5, 2011 at 4:18 am | Report abuse |
  13. chillipepper

    get ready for forgery and idenity crime, shop liftling cases to shoot up.

    October 11, 2011 at 7:16 am | Report abuse |
  14. alfred beilin

    hi there hope yous had a nice xmas and heres to the new year

    January 2, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
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