Tuesday, August 4, 2009

BREAKING NEWS: the Federal Panel's Decrowding Order Becomes Final

The bottom line, fresh out of the court:



Within 45 days, defendants shall provide the court with a population reduction plan that will in no more than two years reduce the population of the CDCR’s adult institutions to 137.5% of their combined design capacity. Should any of defendants’ proposed population reduction measures require the waiver of any provisions of state law, the state shall so advise the court, and shall explain why the requested waiver is permissible under 18 U.S.C. § 3626(a)(1)(B). In preparing their plan, defendants shall consult with plaintiffs, intervenors, and other relevant stakeholders, including the Coleman Special Master and the Plata Receiver. Should such consultation fail to resolve any objections to the proposed population reduction plan, plaintiffs and intervenors shall file their objections no more than 20 days after defendants file their proposed plan, and defendants shall file responses to such objections no more than 10 days thereafter. Defendants shall set forth in their proposal the effective dates of the various actions they propose to undertake and their estimate of the reduction in population they expect to achieve after six, twelve, eighteen, and twenty-four months. The court will consider all of the written submissions and make any necessary modifications or changes to defendants’ proposed plan before issuing a population reduction plan as an order of the court. The court may before doing so request clarification on any matters and conduct any further hearings it deems necessary. However, given that this court issued a preliminary ruling on this matter almost six months ago so as to “give the parties notice of the likely nature of [this] opinion, and [] allow them to plan accordingly,” Feb. 9, 2009 Tentative Ruling at 1, the court will look with disfavor upon any effort to postpone or delay an expeditious resolution of the terms of the population reduction plan, including the submission of a proposed plan by the state and the issuance of the order adopting the final plan. The court will not grant any stay of the proceedings prior to the issuance of the final population reduction plan, but will entertain motions to stay implementation of that plan pending the resolution of any appeal to the Supreme Court. We will retain jurisdiction over this matter to ensure compliance with the population reduction plan and to consider any subsequent modifications made necessary by changed circumstances.


You can download the full opinion and order here, and we'll provide an analysis in the next few days.

The big questions - how does this work with the Governor's plan from the previous post without anyone being in contempt - remain open and will be discussed here in the days to come.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As a former psychologist for CDC-R, I rejoice in this decision. It is long past due and I hope the appeal system will short circuit the continuance of the stalemate promulgated by CDC-R. I know the CO's state more times than one can count, "give it time and that too shall pass" & "we'll get back to doing things like always". CCPOA knows this also, as does all of the administrative staff at CDC-R.

Again, I reiterate: release those with indeterminate sentences (term to life) who have rehabilitated themselves and been determined a low level of danger to self and others. The only way to accomplish that task is to insist on a Board of Prison Hearings with something other than history with law enforcement or justice. There need to be psychologists and psychiatrists on the Board, or others with strong backgrounds and educations in humananities, study of human behavior.