Muhammad, David


California Prison Overhaul: Justice Best Administered Local

By David Muhammad

California is on the brink of a massive overhaul of its criminal justice system. The changes could become a model for the United States--or could be a disaster.

California is in a budget crisis, and spending on corrections not only drains billions of dollars every year from the state, but yields horrible outcomes. Now the U.S. Supreme Court has ordered the state to end the unconstitutional practice of overcrowding its prisons.

At the same time the state is facing extreme challenges, though, it is being given enormous opportunities.

There are more than 140,000 inmates in a prison system designed to hold 80,000. And California has sent another 10,000 or more inmates to be held at facilities in other states.