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. jake

    This won't save one dime in tax money. Upon parole, all of these women will be signed up for all the welfare services. Free housing, food stamps, welfare, MediCal, the works. It's just shuffling the money around.

    September 13, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jakey

      Thank goodness you were here to correct the CDCR; obviously you know a lot more about this than them because you went with assumption instead of all of that boring data and calculation. People coming out of prison never, ever look for jobs ever, it's a FACT. (Or not.)

      September 13, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      We know enough to know that the word correction is complete BS.....put a normal person in a prison and they will learn all sorts of criminal things.

      September 13, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Socrates72

      And what do you think they are doing in prison? working for their healthcare and food? No... You are paying for it! at least now some will get jobs and contribute to society! buying goods and services.

      September 13, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. f

    There is evidence that several corrupt DoJ, DoD and CIA employees had taken bribes from Al Quida in exchange for information and logistics support during the four years prior to 9/11.

    When one considers that the 9/11 terrorists could take jumbo jet flying lessons, move about the US unobstructed, live for several weeks less than 2 miles from NSA head quarters and be on State Department watch lists, even without the supporting evidence of bribery this makes sense.
    If FBI and DEA where less concerned with enriching themselves by stealing from suspects and taking bribes and more concerened with doing their jobs, 911 may never have happened.

    September 13, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. andy

    Right after you, pal.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  4. dr. panda love

    Now I'll finally be able to get a decent meal. Ever since my wife offed her boss, I've been eating ramen or spaghetti.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      I guess "offing" the boss is non-violent? What did she do bore him to death with quotes from you?

      September 13, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mike - CA

    There goes the female pregnancy rate adding to the State of CA welfare system.

    Hot and Horney caged woman, priceless ....

    September 13, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • UCFknightman

      Drug test welfare recipients just like in Florida. Weed them out. Would they turn to breaking into homes and cars to find cash to supplement their addiction? Sure!!! But that's why we have the right to bare arms. I hope they break into MY home, the situation will take care of itself naturally and without the help of a strong central government.

      September 13, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. pat tracey

    if you donot have a sin cast the first stone heartless why would you say something like that

    September 13, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dak Hampton

    The parole agreement should stipulate that they receive ZERO social services, except maybe job training.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • NoTags

      Absolutely correct.

      September 13, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |

    i think to also help save the country money is we take 10000 of the most violent convicts, and put them in a cage match to the death survivor get deported to Mexico and his freedom

    September 13, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Kyrra Robicheau

    I do believe it should be a stipulation that they receive limited aid from the government (welfare, medicaid, things like that), because these former convicts may start to try to take advantage of their good fortune. On the other hand, poverty creates crime. Many of these people probably got where they were today because they didn't have the money and they didn't have the upper hand in life to get money. I hope this program works out, if it becomes reality. It'll be nice for the families to be reunited.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jessie's Dad

    WHAT?!! THEY'RE GROUNDED?!!! Oh wait... they still get to use TV, computer, and cell phone, so it's not even as bad as being grounded.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • H

      Cool story bro

      September 13, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Chris

    Why just women? Why not let out non violent drug offenders. There should be a lottery type system between the two types of prisons.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  12. we throw stones at criminals

    These women are convicted criminals who are lucky that the US is broke, or we could afford to make them finish their sentences. They are also lucky that the avg. American loves money more than justice. These sorts of things never happened when America could afford to keep them behind bars. Never. We are all sinners, but we aren't all concicted criminal getting released early. Every civilization throws rocks at criminals. Look at how many rocks Jews through at Jesus.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Spock

      Bad laws got them there. Fix the system. Don't be dumb.

      September 13, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  13. NoodleHat

    The price of nachos is absurd. This, I think, is the cause of our financial problems in this country. Free nachos for all I say! With lots of beans! We can then capture the methane released and use that as an alternate fuel.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mr President

    Weed 4 sale at WhiteHouse – Call us, ask for Joe B

    September 13, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe Union Worker

      Thank God for Democrates

      September 13, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  15. about half are gay

    I wonder how many of these women found out that they were born gay after being imprisoned.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
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