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. Pale Crow

    I agree w/ this new ruling: If the ladies were not violent, why SHOULD they be locked up based upon breaking some arbitrarily written law made by some priggish, old money, wealthy, blue-blooded snob who doesn't know anything about being an ordinary citizen... and B$ any of you start w/ that "But I never broke a law" bs... isn't more like "but I never got caught!", right?

    September 13, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      I agree that we should start with the non-violent offenders, but that does not mean their crimes were inconsequential.

      September 13, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Yul Strok'eet Awl-Wasch

    But if they can't find a job because they are felons why bother? They'll be back before you know it serving new sentences PLUS the ones they get violated on when they are on parole.

    Better to stake them out on the ground for the crows to eat.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • JamieinMN


      September 13, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. JamieinMN

    Straight to the chair, how about that??? That'll reduce crowding.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      You going first? This blog is over crowded.

      September 13, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • JamieinMN

      Stupid......I'm not a criminal.

      September 13, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      But that comment was stupid and insensitive

      September 13, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • JamieinMN

      Ha! Do you thinks criminals are sensitive to YOUR feelings when they commit their crimes? Are they sensitive to your well-being and safety???? NO!

      September 13, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Starvin Marvin

    Make them eat poo poo!

    September 13, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Menemenetekelupharsin

    jJust let out the attractive women. Keep the fugly ones inside.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. joe blow

    Put the excess criminals on a deserted island. Let them decide how to support themselves, etc. We'll solve the cost of housing them, the cost to society after they are released, etc.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      That's how Australia was populated.

      September 13, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • JBK

      Surely, they won't mind down under. Send some more to Australia...They'd have to promise not to hurt any kangaroos though....:)!

      September 13, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ldean

    great. They can go get their kids, bring 'em home, pimp 'em out and beat the crap out of 'em . . . and no increase $ to social services or parole officers to handle the increase in violence. great idea.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. US can't afford Justice anymore

    It's simple. If US can no longer afford to enforce the law, simply change that law. Sodomy was illegal in all 50 states not long ago. But sodomy became more and more popular to the point anti-sodomy laws couldn't be enforced, we simply couldn't affor it any longer. The same thing happened with Marijuanna.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • tzvikf

      Agree! We have way to many stupid laws on the books. I heard somewhere that everyone commits three felonies everyday. I wonder how many of these women are in jail for smoking a joint or not paying a seat belt ticket.

      September 13, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Lord Vader

    dont worry...... The Oakland Raiders will hire them right away!

    September 13, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. c0mputar

    Who cares about the men? Feminists only want equality when it benefits them... Where are they advocating for men to be released? *echo*

    September 13, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ldean

    yep. prison is just FULL of foxes. ever notice?

    September 13, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. WOT

    These people will need jobs when they get out of jail; So please make provisions for that! Send all Who are without proper papers
    were they came from or have their country of origin take care of them: As we (USA) broke and can not feed them or our owe!

    September 13, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ldean

    1 out of 6 people in the U.S. live in poverty now. I suggest we start cooking and eating our criminals . . . with a nice Chianti?

    September 13, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  14. laface

    The CA situation is a classic example of how the three strikes law was a massive legal failure!! You have people in prison serving life sentences for stealing a loaf of bread on strike three and sentenced to life in prison. Plain and simple – just dumb! In the meantime, while these DOJ workers are eating donuts and sipping coffee you have violent criminals like Phillip Garrido holding little girls hostage for 20 years under their lazy noses! What they really need to do is revisit the judicial codes – the system is a gross failure!!!!

    September 13, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  15. What's the big deal?

    You won't be paying for any damages done to our welfare system. Your kids will. Those luxuries you can't afford but borrowed the money to get them, and then filed for bankrupcy protection to keep? Your kids will be paying for them too. Your own kids...future taxpayers...will be footing the bil, not you. So quit crying already.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
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