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History11 current event(spring)(with)


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History11 current event(spring)(with)

  1. 1. High Court Orders Drastic Prison Population Reduction In California<br />Aileen Yum-Chan<br />May 23, 2011<br />History 4A<br />
  2. 2. High court orders drastic prison populations reduction in California<br />Source: CNN<br />Published: May 23, 2011 12:24 p.m. EST<br />Link:<br />
  3. 3. Summary<br />Yesterday, in Washington, D.C., the Supreme Court endorsed decreasing California’s large prison population by more than 30,000 inmates in order to fix problems in medical care. In the court ruling of 5-4, it was decided that this reduction is “required by the Constitution” to correct violations of inmates’ rights to adequate medical care. In 2009, the state’s prisons averaged a death a week that could’ve been prevented or delayed with better medical care. The judges said the key to improving health care is to reduce the number of inmates. <br />“At the peak of the overcrowding, nearly 20,000 inmates were living in makeshift housing in gymnasiums and other common areas, often sleeping in bunks stacked three high. Another 10,000 inmates were in firefighting camps or private lockups within California.”<br />
  4. 4. Summary<br />The order authorizes a prison population of no more than 110,000 inmates, which is still more than the 80,000 limit it was designed to hold. There were more than 143,000 inmates in California’s 33 prisons as of the beginning of May, causing approximately 33,000 inmates who need to be transferred or released.<br />Justice Anthony Kennedy, a California judge, stated “the violations have persisted for years. They remain uncorrected.” A lawsuit challenging the adequacy of mental health care was filed in the 90s. Justice Antonin Scalia said that the release of 46,000 convicted felons is required.<br />
  5. 5. Hundreds of prisoners who were held at the gymnasium at San Quentin prison<br /><br />
  6. 6. Questions<br />1. Do you believe the reduction of prisoners is “required by the Constitution”?<br />2. How would the early release of prisoners affect crime statistics? <br />3. What would you do to keep the number of prisoners low?<br />
  7. 7. Analysis<br />I believe that the reduction of prisoners is required by the Constitution. From Kennedy’s quote "Needless suffering and death result from overcrowding,” proves that the number of prisoners should be decreased.<br />The early release of prisoners could potentially cause an increase in crime statistics. Prisoners who have committed crimes are more likely to commit more. Many of the prisoners currently held in prison are not first time offenders. State officials believe that these prisoners pose a threat to public safety. Also, the prisoners who are being considered for early release are those who pose the least risk of reoffending.<br />State officials believe that the best way to keep prisons below the limit is to send fewer people to prison in the first place. I believe the best way to keep the number of prisoners low would be to decease those who are currently are on death row. Every day that these prisoners are kept alive adds unnecessary amounts of money to our nation’s debt. <br />