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. gung hoe

    Release them and they will be back in in a week I would betcha

    September 13, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  2. aacon

    Just make marijuana for sale there.Even nationwide.If people will try it they will find they like it.Sale a pack of 20 marijuana cigarettes for $65.00.People will have work selling it at different places that will pop up as businesses for it and related things to it.Marijuana makes people hungry,so they will buy more food meaning more jobs and state taxes through the sale of the food in any form.If everyone bought two or three packs a month 18 and over with the states getting half the cost just think of all the new revenue.We all in debt because people are afraid of a weed ! Wish I could have been born 1000 years from now when the world will have marijuana a common thing for sale.Jesus...

    September 13, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • lady in blue

      Why is it that California allows people to get a card so they can use marijuanna? It is hypocritical if you ask me because it used to be a crime and now because its lucrative its allowed. Money does run the system. Is there a state tax on marijuanna yet?

      September 13, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • lady in blue

      States already tax booze, cigarettes, gas, and almost everything else. Why don't you just implement a state income tax in this golden state of yours and then you wouldn't hve all these money problems? And as far as the federal income tax goes it should be a flat tax across the whole population with no loopholes or special priviledges for businesses. Big business rules this country to the detriment of everyone else who works, and very few of them are headed by women or minorities and the Good Old Boys have a death grip on the country.

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

      Lady in blue you should do a little research before posting and making yourself look stupid. They already have a state income tax.

      September 13, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Roberts

    Ladies must not be kept in prisons. Ladies are the like colour in picture of world.

    September 13, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kacy

      The key word here is "ladies". And, by the way, what are you smoking?!*

      September 13, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nail

      I'd imagine it isn't very lady like to commit a felony. Then again, the bar does keep going lower in this country. Soon the word "lady" may apply to baboons at the rate we are going.

      September 13, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • k

      I like prison women

      September 13, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  4. minority white

    2 people in prison for same exact crime. Both stole a bar of soap, yet one gets 2 years and the other 5 years. Why the difference? One was a rich kid doing a dare. The other, a homless person needing to clean up for a job interview! Who got the 5years?

    September 13, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Roberts

      The rich kid of course!

      September 13, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • the real john

      looks like its time for a haircut. the honeys are coming!!

      September 13, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • CraigW

      Not the woman.

      September 13, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • J Davis

      Just don't drop the soap.....!

      September 13, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Kacy

    "The prisoners will be "allowed to" find jobs or attend classes during their release, the department said." Why not "required to" find jobs?

    September 13, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Lance

    Let the druggies go free. Only let the hot women out.

    September 13, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nail

      Not many hot women get jail time. Lindsay Lohan got what, 2 months? Casey Anthony got off scott free. Most prisoners don't exactly look like Sports Illustrated Swimsuit models.

      September 13, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Lance

    I'd bang a prison chick

    September 13, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • lady in blue

      You probably bang a goat or a dog like in Sodom and Gamorra which by the way was destroyed by God for its terrible immorality. What does He think of this kind of thing? Just read the bible and you'll see.

      September 13, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Snap

      I'm locking my dog up.

      September 13, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. KenX

    Gender bias!! What not do the same for male innmates with the same conditions.

    September 13, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nail

      Easy, men still don't count as human beings. Nobody cares.

      Actually its probably that men are more likely to fight the powers than women are. Better keep them locked up.

      September 13, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. AJ

    Keep arresting average americans for marijuana usage, and saturating the prisons. That way, you can keep early releasing violent offenders, rapists, and murderers.

    The system is just fine...

    September 13, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  10. brown

    Looks like Christmas has arrived early ...these women are going to need a man to take care of their female needs!

    September 13, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  11. CraigW

    It's a good idea letting these women out. Since most of their kids will end up living a life of crime anyhow, why not have them raised by someone who is already a criminal, hasn't paid their debt to society and can show them how it's done instead of the responsible non-criminal relatives.

    September 13, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Alina77

    Good.

    September 13, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  13. minority white

    Yes, the rich kid. Why, cause the judge used the "scared straight" technique. He will only serve 6months thou. But in those 6months he ended up turning gay so the "scared staight" program was abolished. Pun intended.

    September 13, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Retired Floridian

    It "may be made available" to males in the furure?!?! Wow-talk about gender discrimination. i hope ACLU puts the kabosh on this ASAP untless or until California authjorities agree to simultaneously apply the same standards to men!

    September 13, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. minority white

    It scares me how ignorant 75 percent of these posts are. I realize a lot are in jest but some,"lady that blew, have no clue. If your older than us your sure not wiser!

    September 13, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
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