State Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber), who served on the California Board of Prison Terms from 1990 to 2007, issued the following statement today on the prison proposal unveiled by Democrat Senators:
“Supporting rehabilitation, drug and mental health treatment programs is an essential component of a long term plan. We, however, cannot assume that the plaintiffs and their lawyers, and the federal court will agree to a three-year extension to reduce the state’s prison population.
“To have an effective and efficient prison system, we must have both rehabilitation and prisons. Nor can we assume that rehabilitation is the answer in lieu of facilities to incarcerate habitual criminals who continue to victimize our citizens.
“The Senate Democrats’ prison proposal differs greatly from the Governor’s plan. This is yet another example of why the Governor should call for a special session of the Legislature.
“It is only under an extraordinary session that lawmakers, from both houses of the Legislature, will have the time and attention to strategize on long-term solutions for a more efficient and effective prison plan.”