I applaud the Governor’s bipartisan effort to acquire additional inmate housing space and direct the attention of the Governor and the Legislature to an available facility in Live Oak (Sutter County) as well as California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation facilities in Paso Robles and Ione, which are in jeopardy of disposal as surplus properties under Assembly Bill 826.

The agreement is a step in the right direction, but it does not address a flawed prison realignment policy.

The Governor’s commitment to expansion of prison capacity is only part of the solution. To protect California residents, it is critical to provide offenders with effective rehabilitation opportunities in custody and while under community supervision.

This plan provides temporary but inadequate long-term solutions. I request the Governor now call a special session of the Legislature to work on long-term answers.

We need a comprehensive plan that corrects all the deficiencies of prison realignment to protect and ensure justice and the safety of our citizens and their properties.

Supporting rehabilitation, drug and mental health treatment programs is an essential component of a long term plan. We, however, cannot assume that the plaintiffs and their lawyers, and the federal court will agree to a three-year extension to reduce the state’s prison population.

To have an effective and efficient prison system, we must have both rehabilitation and prisons. Nor can we assume that rehabilitation is the answer in lieu of facilities to incarcerate habitual criminals who continue to victimize our citizens.

The Senate Democrats’ prison proposal differs greatly from the Governor’s plan. This is yet another example of why the Governor should call for a special session of the Legislature.

It is only under an extraordinary session that lawmakers, from both houses of the Legislature, will have the time and attention to strategize on long-term solutions for a more efficient and effective prison plan.