State Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber), former Chairman of the California Board of Prison Terms, issued the following statement today regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to reject Governor Brown’s prison plan, which will result in the release of nearly 8,000 inmates by January 27:
“Today’s Supreme Court’s decision is the most compelling reason for the Governor to call a special session of the Legislature to deal with this prison crisis that personally affects us.
“The Court’s decision emphasizes the need for immediate action to provide more in-custody housing for unrehabilitated and dangerous felons, so they do not become an additional threat to all of us.
“It is only with the creation of additional space that the State of California will have the autonomy to run its own prisons, without the interference of federal judges.
“There are already upwards of 40,000 such felons in our communities because of the Governor’s prison realignment plan (AB 109).
“We dare not add to the threat. I encourage the Administration to explore the use of all existing state correctional facilities such as Escalante and Preston, which are currently proposed for sale. These facilities and others must be upgraded to house dangerous felons.”