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. k

    Why do we have a photo of male prison over-crowding?

    September 13, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • k

      ...I admit I clicked hoping for some steamy shower thing...

      September 13, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • jeff

      The feeing isl the same as clicking to view a 'female' in a chat room and instead getting an eyefull of a man doing his business... (in other words, not good)

      September 13, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Todd in DC

      If you are looking for something like Oz, you will be sorely disappointed.

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

      Because they are letting the women go to make more room for men.

      September 13, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Fhfwolfy

    Kerr Mudgeon – or could the fact we have more inmates per capita mean we are better at catching criminals, are less likely to be bribed off or are more likely to report a crime because we trust the police (unlike in many countries where they avoid them like the plague) or care more about protecting innocent people enough to actually incarcerate those who commit crimes. You cannot look at numbers without taking in to account the x factors.

    September 13, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |

    @lady in blue. im sorry. im just a troll. i was just trying to add some controversey to the blog. some say im just an immature idjit. probably am. it is fun though. we hope your afternoon will be too happy.

    September 13, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ca Ed

    Where are we going to get the additional parole offices to watch all of these people?

    They are already over worked to the point of becoming irrelevant or worse, incompetent in doing their monitoring.

    The Tracy Dugard case was classic, the PO had a heavy case load and just let the quiet one slide.

    September 13, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jamie

      I wonder the same thing Ed. The Duggard case is a prime example of something like this happening again. Women are just as capable of doing what men do. California is so broke, it's scary. I hope Governor Jerry Brown pulls his head out of his rear and hires a lot of parole officers, otherwise he's just kidding himself that this plan is going to work.

      September 13, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  5. teamroper

    Just what we need...USA filled with a bunch of lazy, good for nothing potheads looking for the next handout.

    September 13, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • CandyBee

      Well, guess what the current "handout" (costs of incarceration) is. I mean, really, just try to keep thinking. Something might come of it.

      September 13, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. jerry

    Who speed dating with hot Caged women!

    September 13, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  7. gumshue gary

    @minority white. Lmoa. Keep em coming.

    September 13, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Fhfwolfy

    Kerr Mudgeon – here is a statistic for ya since you like numbers, America has the 2nd highest perception of safety when walking in the dark. America is ranked below the UK, Finland and Denmark among others and only just ahead of Canada for total crimes per capita as well. We top the list of ALL countries in percentage of people who believe in the efficiency of the Police. And we don’t even make the top 100 list for corrupt countries. You want to bash America, fine that’s your right…But then again so is making yourself look silly.

    September 13, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  9. APK

    "It may be made available to male inmates in the future".

    Discrimination based on s3x is illegal, or so they say. They ought to to this program for both s3xes at the same time or not at all.

    September 13, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. truefax

    Downside Gender discrimination.
    Upside: Increase in the number of available meat starved women in cali.

    September 13, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Funky-face

    "It may be made available to male inmates in the future, the department said."

    How is that for equality????

    September 13, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • alex

      oh please. how many years did men get to attend college/university before women? get over it... it's just one small thing and it's temporary.

      September 13, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Todd in DC

    The people to be released aren't violent and served most of their sentences. If they can be productive again and take care of their kids and save California money by not being incarcerated, then go for it.

    September 13, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. boogietime

    So you just let them run free? That sounds safe enough.

    September 13, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  14. liar T krazO

    US has the largest prison population in the world. California has the largest prison system in the nation. That would make this the largest prison system in the 'Known Universe". It is a sub-contracted human warehousing business. Sad money...where is YOUR 401k invested?

    September 13, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Holy Counsel

    And how many male inmates have children? Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot that fathers don't count.

    September 13, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike - CA

      .... And how many uselss woman cannot keep their legs shut ... Oh I forgot, real MOTHERS don't count ... either!!

      September 13, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      Take any bets on just how many of those fathers had nothing to do with their children anyway?

      September 13, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • UCFknightman

      I can't stand how women get superiority in law over men when it comes to raising children. It is plainly obvious that men are actually LOSING rights with some of the successes of women's rights. I support EQUALITY.

      September 13, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
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