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. Martha

    And chopping off their heads? What planet r you from?! Maybe you should be shipped off to a third world country and see how long you survive there. Read the World should be happy you live in America, with all your pampering and whatnot. And not in Mexico were innocent ppl are being killed for money, or Lybia were the government cannot even protect its own people. Or better yet how about North Korea where their "Dear Leader" has complete control over every single thing they do day to day and their children are starving and cannot see decent doctors? Come on, your life here in the US aint that bad, even when it is at its low. Open your eyes to the world around you and quit complaining!!! Try to help and be the solution to the problem, not just sit back and complain. Everyone deserves a chance. Maybe if we had better healthcare, these women could get their tubes tied and not procreate in the masses? Should we also "fix" our televisions where its becoming the norm to be a floozy? Its society..and we need to start somewhere. America cannot be the superhero..each and everyone of us...our neighborhoods, our communities. We all need to work together.

    September 13, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mei

      "hope they get their tubes tied.." What an insult to women everywhere! Many female inmates were victims of s..xual abuse at some point, many are used by pimps or abused while drugged. Many get into drugs not realizing what they will become later down the road (selling their own body for more drugs, hanging out with uncaring, irresponsible men who get them knocked up, etc.). Many female inmates took drugs to escape the horrible home lives they were living under. So I agree with your first statement: get help for them, look at the root cause of repeat offenses (usually addiction). Most women with children WANT to be there for their kids. It's the addiction that is hard to break away from.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • wayneone


      September 13, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Kerygma

    Great! Just what we need...more criminals on our streets. America is good at 2nd chances, 3rd chances, 4th chances etc.

    September 13, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • db

      That equates to 2ed, 3rd, and 4th chances to rob or kill me! Don't I have a say in this? What did the jury (me) have to say about this? Build an open air prision, go see Sheriff Joe in Pheonix and to make the prision larger, just move the fence!

      September 13, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richard

      Legalize weed and the prison population will plummet.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • GPerform

      Did you not read the article at all? It clearly said non-violent, non-serious crimes. You know people do go to jail over "failure to appear in court" and things of that sort, those are the crimes that the program is pertaining too.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • GlockG20

      Uhhh, did you miss the part about them being non-violent?

      September 14, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. davidmij

    Simple solution from an old veteran friend of mine. Pay a 3rd world country to jail all our lifer's in American prisons (the people who have done really horrible, inhumane things). There are several of these countries that would do this for less than $2,000 a year, per prisoner. To make sure they don't just kill them we inspect the prisoners once a year and make sure they are being fed and kept alive. Do you realize how many tax dollars this would save – it's Billions. Plus it would (hopefully) deter criminals from doing what they do. It's a win/win for the US and the other country.

    September 13, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • EM

      best idea ever. We outsource everything. Might as well out source prisons.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sunny

      Can we outsource idiots like you to another country?

      September 13, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • hiboy00

      Great idea

      September 13, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • andy

      A very idealistic dream you have there. I would love to see that happen. However, it won't. You fail to realize the amount of money generated by Prison construction, Guard payroll, etc. will mean that prisons are only growing in this country. It's big business, and as we all (should) know. This country is controlled by corporations and money, nothing else. As long as people make money on something, it will always be. Prisons are one of those things. Yes, you're plan is awesome. No, it will never happen, or could ever happen at all without going back in time.

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

      Of course an idiotic idea like that would come from a veteran – somebody STOOOOOPID enough to go to war when the government tells them to jump, they jump! Of course he's upset at anybody who doesn't kiss every law's behind. He's the essence of government tool.

      September 13, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • wayneone


      September 13, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jessica

      Great idea but the prison corporations would never allow it, they rake in too much money as it is and their republican friends wouldn't allow it.

      September 14, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Giovanni Jones

      yep,I guess that's why they don't have prisons in 3rd world countries.I some countries polygamy is ok, thank god it's not in america.

      September 14, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
  4. problem solver

    The US has the most prisoners of any country of the world. That's what we do the best!!!
    We should arrest and imprison all the unemployed people. This will solve the unemployment problem and secure us the first place in the incarceration business!

    September 13, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • andy

      God I hope mcdonalds fires you before that happens.

      September 13, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. hippediva

    Cora, honey, you aren't out yet. And lay off the oxy. Your cellmate says it's making you a mean girl.

    September 13, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sheva

      Hippediva – I understand your sentiment and to a degree, I agree with it, but if such a requirement would require some kind of government enforcement that required employers to hire those who were released. To illustrate the problem, my wife was falsely accused of a class C felony some years ago. The charges were proven completely false by the state's own forensic experts – yet to this day, even though she has consistently sought employment she has been rejected as an applicant "because she has a record" (which technically, she does not). If this is a problem for my completely innocent wife – consider how hard it will be for an early release convict to secure employment without some form of "pressure" for employers to hire. I'm not sure your suggestion is entirely doable.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sheva

      Sorry – I was sent to the wrong link – my comments were intended for dw who had suggested that released inmates be required (as opposed to allowed) to get jobs. Thanks for your tolerance.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Daniela

    Based on your comment you must be smoking something too...or you're just plain crazy!!!

    September 13, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sandy

    Are you really that dumb?

    September 13, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Frank

    “Approximately two-thirds of CDCR’s female inmates are mothers whose children are either with relatives or are in foster care,” Guess what: those kids didn't get there because they had good parents! A HUGE percentage of these women are probably; 1) single, and 2) drug abusers. So, letting them out early is going to cause them all to suddenly see the errors of their ways? I think NOT.
    You gotta LOVE this: "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." It MAY BE made available to male inmates in the future". Equal rights my ass. What a load of BS.

    September 13, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. pimpson

    Great idea. Put these psycho maniac women back caring for innocent children.

    September 13, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • GPerform

      So everyone woman in jail for non-violent, non-serious crimes are "psyco"? Wow, you need to educate yourself.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Oh Please

    You must be joking. Potheads do not commit violent crimes. Marijuana does not have that effect. The drug-dealers that traffic the marijuana are the ones committing the violent crimes.

    September 13, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • bailoutsos

      Oh Please You must be joking. Potheads do not commit violent crimes. ----– Maybe when they are stoned. But what crimes do they commit to get stoned?

      September 13, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • chris

      never speak in absolutes. it's something you'll learn the hardway

      September 13, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark Romens

      It is a profitable market that war can't stop. Legalize it seems like a win, win situation

      September 13, 2011 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Warlock

      What you potheads don't realize (because you've fried so many brain cells) is that if it wasn't for you, there'd be no demand for marijuana and those "violent drug dealers who should be in prison" would have to find another vocation. So congratulations! You're part of the problem in jail or not!

      September 13, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • gatornuts

      While Pot does not necessarily cause an increase in aggression most of the people I know who smoke it are also into other illegal things, including aggressive behavior and destruction of property. However, no drug can make people any more or less worthless than they already are. Like when I do cocaine I am chill and kind and sweet. But the guy next to me might become a total piece of aggressive gay rage. I think drugs are just the scape goat.

      Trafficking is no different.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • wayneone


      September 13, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • GlockG20

      HEY! Key things like logic, facts and reason out of this discussion! Geeze, you're going to cause someone a serious myocardial infarction!

      September 14, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Your kind always argues the potheads are not dangerous; it is their DEMAND that creates the dangers, that creates the dealers and the violence that goes with it.

      September 15, 2011 at 4:11 am | Report abuse |
    • louis

      it dependswhat kind of pot they been taking now dont it ? theres alot of drugs out there . they ought to stick them up there ass . there isnt anything out there worth going to jail or prison for. they dont think of there family or there friends when there on it. all they want is dope it doesnt matter were they get the money as long as they get what they want

      September 17, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  11. logistical hero

    obviously you are not a very smart individual or you are just so sheltered it's not funny. If you knew how many people actually smoke pot, including some of your closest friends and peers, then you would be in for a rude awakening. educate yourself on the useage of marijuana. PLEASE. you should be more concerned with people who drink than people who smoke pot. Smoking pot only causes you to be tired and hungry. It does not cause you to commit serious felonies like meth, coke, or even alcohol will do. Narrow minded people such as yourself... that's who needs lethal injection.

    September 13, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • L

      you have no idea

      September 13, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Duce

      Hear hear!!!

      September 13, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • john

      how stupid are you people get high and commit violent felonies. what the hell world are you living in idiot

      September 13, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Red Blooded American

      Oh sure and your "medicinal" marijuana is only for glaucoma.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • zpdev

      You, sir, are an idiot. What crimes does alcohol cause to you commit?

      September 13, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      @zpdev: DUI or DWI? Without alcohol, it would just be D.. Public intox? Bar fights – not many straight folks do that..

      September 13, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Treazure


      September 13, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • wayneone

      yeaper u right pot no prob

      September 14, 2011 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
    • wayneone

      I AGREE

      September 14, 2011 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Bud

      I'm not particularly for pot nor am I particularly against pot. I think any attempt to legalize drugs harder than pot is plain insanity. Every drug harder than pot has horrible side affects. In fact, despite myths otherwise, no developed country in the world has any druge harder than Marijuana legalized. No not Amsterdam, no not Thailand, no not anywhere I can think of. All hard drugs, harder than Marijuana are illegal to some extent. When it comes to pot I will never say pot is good for you. It may in fact be very bad for you. But I can't say pure pot, no additives, is any worse for you than cigarrettes or alcohol. Now maybe it is a whole lot worse than those other two drugs. I mean after all we don't have any real good long term pot studies. But it's hard to top alcohol as a killer, life destroyer, and all around bad drink. So I might be for legalizing Marijuana but thats about all I would ever support legalizing. Harder drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and meth are obvious life destroyers and who on earth would ever want drugs either like those or harder legalized other than drug heads? Good Day.

      September 14, 2011 at 2:16 am | Report abuse |
    • HPNIII

      Think of the millions of dollars nation wide being wasted on putting pot smokers in prison. Face it we lost the war on drugs anyway, anyone can get anything they want anytime, so why waste all this money. Those who want to get it will, so let's go back to being a nation based on individual freedoms and get out the business of telling people what they can or can not put into their body and concentrate on the actions of people not what they have in their glove compartments or pockets.

      September 15, 2011 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
  12. dw

    They should not be "allowed" to get jobs, they should be REQUIRED to do so.

    September 13, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • DC603

      Are you going to offer them a job? In this economy, who are you going to choose? The stable, successful candidate, or the woman just released from jail?

      September 13, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer

      I'm with you DC603, but I do see DW's point, I don't want to be supporting these women just because I wasn't dumb enough to go to jail and able to get a good, stable job! lol

      September 13, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • situationalawareness

      I wish we could "require" everyone to get a job, but that's the thing... they aren't just handing them out at the corner.

      September 13, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • victor

      Ok here's a great idea for the american brainiacs here... reserve ALL your jobs for inmates and put the rest of you on welfare, so the inmates can call you psycho trash, then give all of you guns and let a foreigner pull the starters pistol and watch you fools anihilate each other.

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

      true, at their interveiw they need to mention that their probation officer"'requires" them to have a job.

      September 14, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jake

    Let those without sin cast the first stone Cora.

    September 13, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • CrazyPete

      I think the person with the most sin gets to cast the first stone. I mean they're probably gonna to anyway....

      September 14, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      Let those without chins cop the first stone.

      September 14, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  14. cor

    I know a few police officers who have said that they would rather have to deal with someone who has been smoking pot than someone who has been drinking alcohol because people who have been drinking can get unpredictable and violent. Your comment is just idiotic.

    September 13, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • tif31

      Really a police officer told you that they rather be around that drinks and get drunks than a weed smoker. Do you know majority of drinkers that get drunk become very volient and mean and when the sober up the next day they can't remember what happen or at least they don't want to remember what happen. Most weed smokers just want to get high and relax and have the munchies.

      September 17, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jennifer

    And how many will just end up back in prision???? Are they ever reformed? No matter how "small" the crime?

    September 13, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Giovanni Jones

      People who continuously brake the law and never apprehended,can and will never be reformed.If however, a person does a crime and goes to prison, can he or she ever be reformed?

      September 14, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
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