UPDATED: SMF bound? California looking to reduce prison population by 27,000

The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced a plan reduce California's inmate population by 27,000 prisoners. The prisoner reduction is part of the Governor and California Legislature"s attempt to put a dent in the state's $26.3 billion budget deficit.

The news in the LA Times could be positive for the survival of the Standish Maximum Correctional Facility (SMF), which was visited last Wednesday by a delegation representing the California Department of Corrections.

However, SMF Warden Tom Birkett said Wednesday that no direct word on whether or not the proposed inmate reduction in California would include exporting prisoners to SMF and Michigan.

I think it’s probably about 50/50 (whether or not California will export prisoners to Standish),” Birkett said. “But everyday they ask me new questions, I think it gets a little better.”

He added that since the California Corrections delegation visited July 15, he has stayed in consistent contact with the Michigan and California departments of corrections.

“They’re continuing to e-mail us and want more info,” Birkett said, adding, however that he’s not at the table when the deal is being worked out. “All the negotiations are being done, basically, out of central office (Lansing).”

Read the story here.


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