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. Dennis

    Stop making everything illegal with overly harsh penalties.

    September 13, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • oldguy40

      At over $18,000/prisoner, that's twice the minimum wage.

      September 13, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • LOLOMGYEA

      OMG YEAH I KNOW, I MEAN IF WE DIDN'T TRY TO FIND ALL THE RAPISTS, ROBBERS OR MURDERERS IN THE WORLD THINK OF HOW MUCH MONEY WE COULD SAVE, RITE GUYS??

      Moron.

      September 13, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      Id agree with that if they actually were looking for rapists,robbers and murderers,instead of 30 year old drug charges and kids in possession of marijuana.

      September 13, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      And lets not forget older women who have CONSENSUAL s*x with teenage boys

      because yes,it is consensual.

      September 13, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • jack

      I agree, there are way too many people warehoused in prison. It's good if you're a CO making $200,000 a year with all of the overtime, but bad for anyone else.

      September 13, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • hilo, HI

      Spend less time breaking these laws, and get active changing them.

      September 13, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. It Sounds Like Money to Me

    As a contractor, that's 4500 more kitchens to build. CHA CHING!

    September 13, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Beth

    Great! Fertile women reproducing more welfare babies! They'll have tracking devices but they can still reach their beds with all the deadbeat babydaddies!

    September 13, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Judy J

      It's pretty obvious that most people know nothing about the prison system and in this instance, about women in prison. I worked in a social services program at our state prison and believe me, most of the women are not "bad" but there because of non-violent crimes. The majority have a history of mental disorders, and were subjected to all types of abuse in their own lives leaving them with absolutely no self worth. Putting them in prison is not the answer – they need tto regain their worth and learn life skills. I can absolutely say, there for the Grace of God, it could be any one of us. Like many in this forum have stated, in this country we are so quick to throw people in jail which in cases stated in this article only compounds the problems. Judge not until you have walked in someone elses shoes.

      September 13, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • hilo, HI

      Exactly. There ought to be a 'No Breeding' stipulation while on Parole.
      Some will do well, but others -the children were better off w/ 'mom' gone.

      Also, DISCRIMINATION. Plain and simple. Why only the mothers?
      WHAT ABOUT THE FATHERS? -same non-violent, same low term left, but not This Special Program?
      (also prisoners w/ No children?)

      So, you kids can in fact be a "Get Out of Jail Free" card.
      -b/c foster care is too expensive?
      Garnish wages to reimburse your childrens expenses when sentence is over. Keep a tab, recoup MY tax $$ later.

      September 13, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • hilo, HI

      Judy, Well said. And outreach, rehabilitation is indeed so very important.

      However, receiving special status simply for breeding is just plain wrong, especially in the Justice system. You see the problems here?

      I come from poverty, was raised in HUD housing. Believe me, children are as much as not, viewed as a meal ticket of one kind or another. I was surrounded by these ppl you refer to, even in my family. The kids always mean so much when standing before a Judge, but Never half so much when engaging in the fun and games. Thie seems also potentially another way to use kids. (Breeding For Benefits IS The Plan where I'm from.)

      September 13, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Atheist

    I predict a trend here. As California goes...so goes the nation. Good news kids. Mommma will be home for Xmas!

    September 13, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • hilo, HI

      Not Good News for all of them.

      Also, Listen Up Addicts (FEMALE ONLY...hmmm),

      If you haven't bred yet for the rent vouchers and Food Stamps (that you of course sell for 50 cents on the dollar for drug $$), here's yet another reason. Kids are now a Get Out of Jail Free card!!

      September 13, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jdoe

    The Land of the Free just loves to throw people in prison for the slightest offenses. Costing taxpayers billions and costing society billions more due to lost wages, and loss of future income due to a criminal record. Not to mention the emotional toll of broken families potentially leading to more future crimes.

    All to support a privatized prison industry looking for more growth.

    September 13, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • garcam

      How Right you are. This industry is worthy of being banned!
      Do away with victimless crimes. Fill our prisons with pedophile priests! You won't need guards, they'll just do each other to death!

      September 13, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • hilo, HI

      And The Free People of this Land just love doing as they please, but they hate consequences.

      Victims? or Volunteers? EVERYBODY HAS FREE WILL.

      Put the innocent children No One forced you to breed first, and you aren't breaking laws to begin with.
      It's only weed, you say? I agree. I support legalization. Would I risk my children breaking what I KNOW IS THE LAW, even a stupid one? NO WAY.

      September 13, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. sb

    Keep this cycle running. May create jobs.

    September 13, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Treazure

    Ur Stupid!!

    September 13, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. DoNotWorry

    Yep, that's twice the minimum wage, which gives you an indication of whether someone can live on the minimum wage.

    September 13, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Bud

    You know folks are not happy no matter what is done to cut spending. If you cut government jobs you put thousands of out of work folks on unemployment for years. No one is happy with that scenario right? But if you don't cut government jobs it could take 20 years to get out of debt. No one is happy with that scenario. In the end the American People just suck! You put thousands of low risk women inmates on the streets and folks complain about them getting welfare but if you keep them in prison folks complain about the cost of hiring prison guards, feeding, housing. Tell me what do you people want? Did you think thousands of poor, non skilled women, were going to just jump into the workforce with no problem? Foolish Americans. You better get ready for a deep recession folks. If the post office disentigrates and lays off thousands were going to see a meltdown in this economy. For some of you radical right wing folks the only answer is selective euthanization. Where would you start? I guess most republicans would start with the poor, the old, and the disabled. Just as good of place as any right? Good Day!

    September 13, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • victor

      Hey when you say Foolish American i suspect you are, like me, not one of them... feels good doesn't it!! Let 'em rot.

      September 13, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • hilo, HI

      Stop rewarding Breeding for Benefits for starters.

      Keep a running tab of all welfare paid out. Garnish wages to recoup. Once welfare stops being a gravy train for so many, the overbreeding by unfits, and all the expenses that go with them, will cease.
      I was raised in HUD Housing. I know about this.....3, 4, 5, 8, even 11 fetal alcohol, ADD, Pepsi in the tots bottle, the tot in diapers until FIVE, later meds for ADD, juvy diabetes, later prison. STOP FUNDING THIS MADNESS W/ MY HARD EARNED TAXES.

      September 13, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  10. victor

    I just want to say as a Canadian who's country is doing so much better than yours and isn't the target of terrorists everywhere, well... your country is full of white inbred right-wing idiots who ruin it for the rest -> hence their love of guns! Protection from all their neighbors who hates them for simply being uneducated god-fearing sheep. It's crazy you guys haven't gone on a rampage against those closet-cases, just goes to show the american man is no more.. he's too busy getting buff, putting on pretty tattoos and shaving his hair into what should be an L.

    September 13, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • hilo, HI

      Canada has terrorists, plot just broken up last year in the target city Toronto.
      Also, you can afford all these social services w/ a Super Power baby sitting you on top and bottom borders.

      (This will backfire in 40 years when Neuvos Americanos (former USA) runs out of drinkable water and comes for yours!!)

      September 13, 2011 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  11. hilo, HI

    What about the fathers in the same standing? If it's only applied to female parents then this is discrimination.
    Also, how big pf an incentive can children be in straightening up. These mothers broke laws, knowing fully well their children could be taken away. Many, not all, of these kids are better of now, Truth Be Told.
    I hope this program is monitered carefully, that only the chance for success cases are given this break.

    September 13, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Michigan_Joe

    California has 10,000 women behind bars? What the heck is going on in California?

    September 13, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • hilo, HI

      Welfare Breeding. Drugs. Lax immigration law enforcement.

      September 13, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dreamer96

    So there is going to be a line of cars outside these prisons with single young men, holding cartons of cigarettes, and a 12 pack of beer for the best looking woman who needs a ride home...I can see a movie next summer called California prison break 2011..

    September 13, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Texdoc

    If they legalized weed, they would have had thousands of less criminals in California already. Human beings are drug using animals; nicotine, alcohol, caffiene, why are some molecules legal and other illegal?

    September 13, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bud

    Victor I am an American and I love my country. I am a proud democrat. We have our problems but Canada is not without theirs. I'm not going to be baited in by your anti-Americanism. I like Canada, it's a beautiful country. But you have your country has it's share of problems and you don't see Americans throwing those problems in your face do you. By the Terrorist want to kill us all, including Canadians. If you could see how many plots were foiled in your country you would realize the truth in this. Basically if you don't bow down to Islam and wear a veil then you die under Islam so don't think for a minute Canada is not without it's threats. Now having said that Victor if you have any constructive comments that will help my country then by all means post some and maybe some one will listen otherwise please mind Canada's buisiness and but out. Good Day.

    September 13, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bud

      Sorry about the typos. I hope you get the Idea of what I'm saying Victor. Your country has it's share of problems and your country is certainly not immuned to the terrorist threat. Good Day

      September 13, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
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