Government & Politics
4:50 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Brown's Bid to Regain Control of Mental Health Care in California Prisons Rejected

California Governor Jerry Brown (file photo)
Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

A federal judge has rejected California’s push to retake control of prison inmates’ mental health care.  As Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, it’s a major setback for Governor Jerry Brown.

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Government & Politics
10:30 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Judge Criticizes State's Potential "Ethical Violations" in Prison Case

file photo
Credit Casey Christie / The Californian

A federal judge says California may have committed ethical violations in a lawsuit over prison mental healthcare.  KPCC’s Julie Small reports the judge’s stern rebuke could de-rail Governor Jerry Brown’s push to free the state from over a decade of federal oversight.

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Government & Politics
3:43 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

California GOP Lawmakers: Realignment Not Working, So Fix It

Republican state lawmakers criticize Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown's criminal justice realignment program at a Capitol news conference Tuesday.
Credit Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

Republicans in the California legislature are criticizing Governor Jerry Brown’s shift of prisoners from the state to counties – and putting forth legislation they say would help reduce the risk to public safety.

GOP Senator Jim Nielsen says the program known as criminal justice “realignment” needs to be scrapped.

“It unleashed an unprecedented crime wave affecting everyone in the state of California, and I’ll argue no bill ever passed by this legislature has had more dire and severe and egregious consequences,” says Nielsen.

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5:02 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

1500 Inmates Serving More Time in Jails Designed for Shorter Stays

The Fresno County Jail in downtown Fresno
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

A survey by the state Sherriff’s Association shows over 1500 inmates in California are serving 5 years or more at local jails that are equipped for shorter stays. As KPCC’s state capitol reporter Julie Small reports, the survey looked at the effects of California’s realignment law.

A year and a half ago, California began sending thousands of low-level felons to county jails instead of prison. San Bernardino County absorbed 4,200 new felons according to Sheriff’s Spokeswoman Cindy Bachman. “We have now so many more inmates that are staying here,” says Bachman.

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Prison Realignment
2:22 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Central Valley Lawmaker: California Should Give Counties More Money to Fund Realignment

State Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) - (file photo)
Credit Office of Anthony Cannella


A California lawmaker says the shift of tens of thousands of state prisoners to county supervision has become a strain for some counties.  As Marianne Russ reports from Sacramento, he wants the state to give those counties more money.

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10:11 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Brown Demands Relief from Federal Court Order on Prisons

Gov. Jerry Brown announces an end to the state of emergency in California's prison system at a Capitol news conference Tuesday in Sacramento.
Credit Amy Quinton / Capital Public Radio

A defiant Governor Jerry Brown is proclaiming an end to the state of emergency in California prisons and demanding that the federal courts let the state run its own corrections system again.  But as Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, there’s no guarantee the courts will do as he asks.

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Valley Edition
12:11 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

On Valley Edition: Jerry Brown; Proposition Talk; Fresno Environmental Reporting Network

On this Valley Edition, we hear Governor Jerry Brown talk about his ballot measure Proposition 30 in an interview with Ben Adler. We also examine Propositions 36, 37 and 38 with a series of special reports, and talk with retired Justice James Ardaiz and get his thoughts on efforts to make changes to California's "Three Strikes" law and to abolish the death penalty. 

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Government & Politics
6:49 pm
Mon October 8, 2012

One Year In, Too Soon to Evaluate Prison Realignment

Credit Casey Christie / The Californian

It’s been one year since Governor Jerry Brown shifted responsibility for low-level offenders in California from the state to counties.  But as Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, experts say it’s too soon to truly assess the impact of the governor’s “realignment” program.

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Government & Politics
1:38 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

Kern County to Pursue New Jail With $100 Million Grant

The Kern County Board of Supervisors voted yesterday to accept a $100 million state grant that would help fund construction of a new jail at the existing Lerdo pre-trial facility. As a condition of the grant, the county also committed over $22 million in matching funds to support construction of the facility, which will house around 800 mostly medium security inmates.

The county had previously been awarded a similar grant in 2008, but had to reject the funding because it was unable to allocate the matching funds required the state. 

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Valley Edition
12:52 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

On Valley Edition: Incarceration Rate; Bus Rapid Transit; Greek Fest

This week on Valley Edition, we learn more about a new report which shows that on average, Valley counties send more inmates to prison and jail than the rest of the state. What does this mean for county budgets as realignment is moving many of those inmates from state prisons to county jails? We also discuss the merits of public defenders in California, as Fresno County is likely to place a measure before voters this fall which could make it easier to outsource the county’s public defender jobs to private attorneys.

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Government & Politics
12:38 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Study Highlights High Incarceration Rate in Valley Counties

A map from the California Sentencing Institute details the number of inmates counties sent to state prison in 2010
California Sentencing Institute / Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

A new report from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice shows that Valley Counties on average send more people to jail and state prison than the rest of the state. Kings County topped the list with the state's highest per capita population in state prison, over 1,500 adults for every 100,000 people. Tulare and Kern counties weren't far behind.

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Valley Public Radio News
5:36 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

As Their Numbers Dwindle, Prison Inmates Help Fight Fires

California prison inmates help fight the Robbers Fire in Placer County.
Ben Adler Capitol Public Radio

Fire fighters battling wildfires across California this week are getting support from hundreds of state prison inmates. That's been the case for years, but as Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, Governor Jerry Brown's prison realignment is starting to reduce the number of inmates available to help.

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Valley Edition
5:06 pm
Tue November 8, 2011

On Valley Edition: Prison Realignment; Sewage Sludge; Veterans Stories

This week on Valley Edition we talk about the state's new prison "realignment" plan and also efforts to amend California's 3 Strikes law. We also learn more about the on-going saga of sewage sludge from Southern California that is being trucked to Kern County and spread on area farmland. 

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Quality of Life
6:13 pm
Tue June 14, 2011

On Quality of Life: State Prisons & County Jails; Chaffee Zoo Expansion

Segment 1 – County Jails & State Prisons - Last month the US Supreme Court ruled that California must reduce its prison population by 33,000 inmates by 2013, to improve inmate health care. And a new state law plans to shift much of that burden to county jails. We talk about the future of the state's corrections system and what it means for the Valley, with Kern County Sheriff Joel Youngblood, Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims and prisoner rights advocate Rebecca Evenson of the Prison Law Office.

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