What a perfect synopsis:
The massive 750% increase in the California prison population since the mid-1970s is the result of political decisions made over three decades, including the shift to inflexible determinate sentencing and the passage of harsh mandatory minimum and three-strikes laws, as well as the state’s counterproductive parole system. Unfortunately, as California’s prison population has grown, California’s political decision-makers have failed to provide the resources and facilities required to meet the additional need for space and for other necessities of prison existence. Likewise, although state-appointed experts have repeatedly provided numerous methods by which the state could safely reduce its prison population, their recommendations have been ignored, underfunded, or postponed indefinitely. The convergence of tough-on-crime policies and an unwillingness to expend the necessary funds to support the population growth has brought California’s prisons to the breaking point. The state of emergency declared by Governor Schwarzenegger almost three years ago continues to this day, California’s prisons remain severely overcrowded, and inmates in the California prison system continue to languish without constitutionally adequate medical and mental health care.