Transcript: CA Assembly Speaker John Perez’s remarks on the $315 million plan to expand prison capacity

Partial transcript of remarks by California Assembly Speaker John Perez (D-Los Angeles) on expanding prison capacity to comply with the federal court order to reduce prison overcrowding. The press conference was held on Aug. 27, 2013: I’m pleased to join with the governor, with the Republican leaders of the Assembly, Ms. [Connie] Conway (R-Tulare) and Mr. [Bob] Huff (R-Diamond Bar) as well as sheriffs, police chiefs, district attorneys, probation officers, public safety advocates, local government representatives, and crime victim advocates who’ve joined us today to discuss how California will achieve the court’s mandated target of 137.5% capacity of our prison system.

The governor and I have consistently expressed in the strongest possible terms that we believe the court is fundamentally wrong in spelling out what it believes our priorities should be either in the release of 10,000 additional inmates or costly interventions that impact our reserve.

Our obligation to the people of California is clear: Public safety is of the utmost importance and we will not do a single thing that would put us in a position of releasing an additional single prisoner.

The work that all of us in the legislature have done with the governor to stabilize our financial situation and to build us a strong reserve gives us the flexibility to meet the target that the courts have set and we will do so.

What we’re unveiling today is the beginning of the process – a plan that will be fully vetted through a committee process and ultimately through votes in both houses of the legislature.

We will also, as the governor said, simultaneously begin a much, much broader comprehensive policy discussion on how to address the long-term challenges of the prison system.

In the Assembly, I’ll be appointing an assembly select committee to guide this process and we’re committed to work with the governor and with our colleagues in the Senate to bring together state and national experts who can evaluate all of the options available to us from an outcome-based perspective.

We’ll examine issues directly tied to the prison population like reviewing the sentencing guidelines as well as the broader policy questions to prevent crime in the first place. We will look at impacts on all measure of things.

But first, we start with the immediate challenge. The plan we’re unveiling today meets the court’s targets and begins the crucial discussion and moves us to pass the plan before we adjourn session in the next few weeks.

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2 Comments on “Transcript: CA Assembly Speaker John Perez’s remarks on the $315 million plan to expand prison capacity

  1. Pingback: Transcript: CA Gov. Jerry Brown announces $315 million plan to expand prison capacity | What The Folly?!

  2. Pingback: Transcript: Press briefing Q&A on Gov. Jerry Brown's $315 million plan to expand prison capacity | What The Folly?!

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