- Jul 2, 2003
The announcement by top advisors to Gov. Gavin Newsom offered stark evidence of the dire health conditions at several California prisons.
California to release 8,000 prisoners in hopes of easing coronavirus crisis
The decision to expedite the release of prisoners comes on the heels of a growing chorus of complaints by state lawmakers, prisoner advocates and a federal judge that the state hasn’t done enough to stem the rising tide of infection.
On Monday, the top medical officer for the state prison system was removed from his position following criticism of inmate transfers that are believed to have led to a much larger coronavirus problem in prisons than existed this spring.
Newsom told reporters on Monday that prisoners from Chino should not have been transferred, the responsibility for which rested with the prison healthcare agency overseen by federal judges since 2005.
Officials at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said as many as 8,000 prisoners could be eligible for early release by the end of August.
“These actions are taken to provide for the health and safety of the incarcerated population and staff,” corrections Secretary Ralph Diaz said in a written statement.
“We aim to implement these decompression measures in a way that aligns both public health and public safety.”