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. joe

    Just increase the execution rate and trim from that end...

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

      I agree! Get rid of all gang members,and anyone in for over 10 years for any violent crime needs to be put out of our misery!

      September 13, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brandon

      Yes, because if you commit a crime according to whatever rules a government has set, rules that you have no choice but to agree to, just because you were born... you should clearly die for that.

      September 13, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Howard Salsitz

      Gee.... why don't we just do like Rick Perry does and just execute them? (tongue in cheek.... I don't really mean it)

      September 13, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
  2. M in Oz

    SO will all the men who committed similar offenses be released too?

    September 13, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Pilfer

    My chances of getting laid this year is about to go up.

    September 13, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  4. im dead anyway

    I guess mommy is finally coming home

    September 13, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Bobbb

    "Those admitted to the program will wear electronic monitors..." ARE THESE MONITORS THE KIND THAT DETECT DRUG USE AS WELL AS LOCATION?

    September 13, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mel Gibson

    I'll take two if they're cute and under 17. Gotta clean the bugs off first, tho.

    September 13, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  7. steward

    When is the Supreme Court going to learn the difference between the word "and" and the word "or"? If a type of punishment is usual, it doesn't violate the 8th amendment. It bars "cruel AND unusual", not "cruel OR unusual" punishment. If Justice Kennedy ordered ham and eggs, would he complain if he just got ham?

    September 13, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • ZweiStein

      Interesting observation.

      September 13, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Bobbb

    "...moving 33,000 low-level offenders to county jails...and funding for that plan, estimated at $460 million in the first year..." OUCH!! IF THAT IS THE FIRST YEAR – HVE THEY COMPARED THESE EXPENSES TO THE COST OF BUILDING NEW PRISONS OR CONVERTING SAY A MIITARY BASE SINCE THESE ARE LOW RISK INMATES..

    September 13, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
  9. justin

    What about men?

    September 13, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • ZweiStein

      Try reading the article. It is mentioned.

      September 13, 2011 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Chuk

    B.S! What about the men???!!!!! What happened to "equality" for all??? It sure pays to be a woman. This bunk about children. Are there no men with kids in jails too?

    September 13, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • ZweiStein


      September 13, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ZweiStein

    Save money here. Send them to Mexico. We all win. BTW...big bonus for Mexicans for each one that can't make it back.

    September 13, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Allen

    Jerry did some blunts then did the math in his head. Exact cost of drug use easily established in this case at 400 million dollars over the next ten years assuming a recitivism rate of 0%.

    September 13, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. noemi

    They r in jail because they broke the law letting them out won't change who and what they r crack hos.and yes send them back accros the ocean with a mormon under each arm.Or u can send them back on a banna boat.either way accross the sea were most of u and the people u inslaved came from. Not mexico u dum asses.

    September 13, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Panda

    in in the Panda land, we execute lifers to save room and money...
    we honor the rights of victims, not seems like it's the other way around in the land of the eagles.

    September 13, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jennifer

    execute and jail all gang members, get rid of them they are of no good use to anyone or any society. we have a group of ruthless people who need to be put down a peg or two. They are taking over, and the police needs people's help to stop the violonce and crime. pick up and call the police and help them. They cannot do it alone, it takes all of us good people to help and stop these "animals" running the steets.

    September 13, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
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