The Friends and Families for the Honor Program lobby CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate to save the "shining star of the prison system."
LOS ANGELES, July 12, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation (CDCR) has decided to transfer out more than three-quarters of the men successfully functioning on the Honor Program/Progressive Programming Facility at California State Prison-Los Angeles County in Lancaster. This will result in the only fully functioning maximum-security facility in the sprawling, sadly dysfunctional prison system to collapse.
The prison system in California is under a federal court mandate to shrink down from a high of almost 200% of capacity to only 137.5% of capacity by June of 2013. To accomplish this, the state has diverted low-level offenders to county jails and changed parole regulations. Ultimately, prisoners remaining in the 33 far-flung institutions of the system will be spread out to ease local crowding. To date, the process appears to be on track to meet court-ordered deadlines.
All of the above is to the good, and we congratulate CDCR Secretary Cate for his valiant efforts to turn around the troubled prisons in a time of extreme fiscal constraint and limited options.
But moving so many of the men from the revolutionary Honor Program/Progressive Programming Facility to other, far less well functioning prisons is a bad idea for a number of reasons.
It spends money that doesn't need to be spent on transfers that don't need to happen.
It jeopardizes the stability of a program that should be the template for the future corrections system in California.
It causes needless hardship to hundreds of friends and family members of men currently housed in Los Angeles's only prison.
There is still time to change this decision by the Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation. The Friends and Families for the Honor Program has launched an advocacy campaign to save this model program, which for more than a decade has dramatically reduced prison violence and has saved the taxpayers millions of dollars. Visit www.prisonhonorprogram.org to view the proposal submitted yesterday to Secretary Cate and sent today to state legislators and policymakers, as well as a petition begun today that will soon be delivered to Secretary Cate and Governor Brown.
For more information, members of the media can send an email to email@example.com to arrange an interview with Honor Program prisoner leaders or members of the Friends and Families for the Honor Program.
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