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. Mr.727

    Of course they are, they can't afford to keep their ass in the jailhouse any longer! Soon weed will be legal, less people in jail!

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

      You're right.

      September 13, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  2. egor1

    Sure, 4500 more unemployed and on the Welfare roles. At least in prison they had a job.

    September 13, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Joe

    LEGALIZE MARIJUANA! ... Less people in jail, and more tax revenue for the bankrupt states.

    September 13, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Les

      Marijuana should not be legalized. It should be DECRIMINALIZED. A very different thing indeed. The drug "problem" only became a problem in the 1930s after alcohol prohibition was repealed. Anslinger (sp?) was so desperate to keep his and his cronies working that he pushed to make it illegal. In one fell swoop, he managed to remove a benign plant, which was used in the medical community for the treatment of over 30 health conditions and diseades. And this he managed to do in spite of the wide spead opposition of the medical community.

      To those who would ingeniously opine that it was a bad law but we have to obey it, I offer the words of Thomas Jefferson and parroted by John Adams. A citizen is under NO obligation to obey a bad law. Marijuana laws are just such laws.

      The people imprisoned for disobeying those laws are acting as good citizens according to our founding fathers. Male or female they should be released immediately and reimbursed by the abusive and repressive government that put them there.

      September 14, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  4. prettygurl

    everybody smokes pot so honestly having the prisoners back in society wont change anything

    September 13, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Warlock

      You poor, deluded soul. Not everyone is like you. Get some help.

      September 13, 2011 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      Don't worry prettygurl, most of us ARE like you. Warlock is just mad because his life sucks.

      September 13, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve

      "Everybodies doing iit!" back people...the mensa members have joined the fight.

      September 13, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tewrobert

      MY family and I do NOT smoke pot and I dont want to be on the road with some dope head high on pot either. Thats going to be a serious offense if it does get legal and dont think it wont,
      America isnt just gonna let that window of opportunity to make money go so those of you who think its gonna be party time........Think again........

      September 13, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jaq

      I don't want to be on the road with people drinking alcohol (which causes much more serious impairments to driving than pot) but no one's making booze illegal. Obviously it would have to have regulations, just like any substance that affects your ability to operate heavy machinery.

      September 13, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ruderalis

      @Tewrobert: You're a little scared bit(h and you know it. You should see me on PCP sometime.

      September 13, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Les

      Correct. There is large number of people that use it. Many more than the conservative pie-holes pretend to know. In our area the average pot user is between the ages of 40-80, with many using it to relieve arthritis, nausea and other illnesses. My own doctor has told me that she recommends it to her older patients to improve their quality of life and relieve their symptoms.

      The youth of this nation are NOT the primary users of marijuana. That is a fallacy that the obnoxious Repukelicans, tea naggers, e(vil)angelicans spout, hoping that if they say it enough people will fall for their unkind and psychopathic agenda of lies, distortions and oppressive agendas.

      On that note, I leave you with the fact that the vast majority of marijuana users are gainfully employed, contributors to their community, solidly patriotic and have stable healthy family units. Read the research and end the ignorance.

      September 14, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  5. Teemee

    First women get off easy for murder (they are assigned the death penalty much less than men for the that same crime) they are getting sent home... women have it so easy.

    September 13, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Cap'n D

    Waita minute! What about tough on crime? As a taxpayer I have a right to have these perps locked up for the rest of their life. They committed a Crime! I'm going to have to carry two guns on the street, there will be criminals everywhere.
    What ever happened to tough on crime?

    September 13, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • justsaynow

      The get tough on crime approach does nothing to deter crime and is not cost effective.

      September 13, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  7. forgetthis

    If you havnt done pot then you really dont know what it does do you. Even the government cant agree with itself about the effects of pot. If you smoke pot your more likely to sit on the couch and eat twinkies than commit any other crime.

    September 13, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. victor

    Hey to those who think people should be locked up -> have a laugh next time a pedophile released because there are too many drug dealers in prison kidnaps and kills a kid... happened many many many many times already. Why? Because pedophlies are quiet, drug dealers are loud and annoying... and fools are easily fooled by appearances.

    September 13, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ZZA

    Let's stop handing out decade-long sentences for minor offenses. Giving out a ten-year sentence instead of a five-year sentence does not keep people out of trouble, it simply keeps them in jail longer.

    September 13, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Warlock

    Who wants to hire a pothead? I rest my case.

    September 13, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      I'd much sooner hire a pothead than some self-righteous jerk like yourself. The fact that you seem to think that smoking marijuana is inherently bad just goes to show how indoctrinated you are by the war on drugs. Do some research and maybe light up a joint; you'd be doing the whole world a favor.

      September 13, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • cosmicsnoop

      You know nothing. I have never been unemployed. I smoke pot daily, I go to work most days high, I drive to work high, etc. No one has a clue I'm high and I'm constantly seen as one of the best employees. I got a part time job to get more cash recently while my wife went back to school. I just wanted something simple and unassuming as I already have a real job, but when I applied the boss made me the Asst. Manager from the get go. Guess what? I go there high every day. You clearly have no clue about the people around you. And, I may add, I have better spelling and sentence structure skills than 97% of all the people who post here.

      September 13, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ieat

    why do people keep saying everyone smokes pot? I don't know of anyone personally who does. And no I'm not lying. Also no my friends are not hiding.

    September 13, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • cosmicsnoop

      You need better friends. And ones that will share.

      September 13, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
  12. mh

    Another, more radical solution would be to simply decriminalize marijuana. How many people in prison are there on charges brought on by stupid, draconian drug laws criminalizing something that is not even as bad as alcohol? Something to think about...

    September 13, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
  13. jesse

    I'm not a "pothead" at all, and this seems like a pretty genius move to me. Thank you, California, for practicing common sense.

    September 13, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ed

    @ comment #4 wth do obama have to do with this, next you are going to blame obama because you life suck

    September 13, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Percy

    Great, free booty for all -yes !!

    September 13, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
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