[Ppnews] SF Rally for prisoner releases rescheduled for Friday

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Dec 16 11:08:50 EST 2008


Rally for Prisoner Releases RESCHEDULED

***Friday, December 19th 2008, 8:30 AM***

Where: 450 Golden Gate Ave, San Francisco between Larkin and Polk at 
the Northern California District Court

End Overcrowding and Release Eligible Prisoners Now!

We had originally planned to have a rally outside of court on Tuesday 
December 16th, but found out today that court will only be in session 
this Thursday and Friday, the last two days of these historic 
hearings.  This is our last chance to bring the voices of our loved 
ones inside out and demand an end to the torture and cruelty in 
California prisons created by unconstitutional overcrowding.

Please come out this Friday December 19th at 8:30 AM and join us in 
demanding the release of eligible lifers, low-risk aging prisoners, 
domestic violence survivors, and medically incapacitated prisoners NOW!

For more information contact California Coalition for Women Prisoners 
at 415-255-7036 x4 or <mailto:info at womenprisoners.org>info at womenprisoners.org

PS: You can also read the editorial article below from today's San 
Francisco Chronicle for more information on the panel and the 
overcrowding crisis.


Jammed by neglect

Monday, December 15, 2008
<http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/object/article?f=/c/a/2008/12/15/ED1E14N52G.DTL&o=0&type=printable>
Packed: Inmates mill about at Pleasant Valley State Priso...

California officials have failed and failed to reduce the burdens on 
our stressed prison system, so three federal judges are about to do 
it for them.
After years of jamming too many prisoners into too few prisons - 
thanks, in large part, to the decisions of California voters, who 
rarely seem to meet a lock-em-up proposition they didn't like - the 
state is on the losing end of two lawsuits. The first one, which 
found that the state's prison health care system was so dysfunctional 
as to be unconstitutional, has already been lost. J. Clark Kelso, the 
federal receiver, has been demanding the $8 billion he needs to fix 
the system for months now. Both the Legislature and the governor 
refuse to give him the money, though they won't be able to deny him forever.
It looks likely that the state is set to lose the second lawsuit, as 
well. That lawsuit, brought on behalf of sick and mentally ill 
inmates, asks whether or not the state's prisons have gotten so 
overcrowded (we have 33 of them, and they hold nearly twice as many 
inmates as they were designed for) that the conditions are 
unconstitutional. The three federal judges, hearing that case in San 
Francisco right now, have given indications that they are set to 
demand early releases for thousands of inmates.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and state lawmakers have already declared 
their intention to appeal any early-release decision to the Supreme 
Court. They're grandstanding, instead of taking advantage of an 
excellent opportunity. They could be using these decisions to push 
for small reforms (for example, loosening some of the rigid parole 
technicalities that lead to so much recidivism) that would make a 
tremendous difference in reducing overcrowding without putting the 
public at risk.
But they have been too afraid to do so, in part because of a powerful 
prison guards' union, and in part because voters refuse to get real 
about the cost of their thirst for punishing criminals. Against all 
available evidence, voters in this state continue to think that 
passing endless propositions to increase sentencing and levying other 
punishments against those who violate the law will keep our 
communities safer. In reality, this behavior has failed to magically 
reduce crime and it has put the rest of us in danger.
The danger is that we are now on the verge of bankrupting ourselves 
in order to pay for prisons. Not schools, not public health, but 
prisons. The state prison system already consumes about $10 billion a 
year. Is this really where we want to focus our resources, as a state 
and as a society?

<http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/12/15/ED1E14N52G.DTL>http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/12/15/ED1E14N52G.DTL

This article appeared on page B - 4 of the San Francisco Chronicle



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