Senator informs judicial panel on prisoner overcrowding issue.
Today, Sen. George Runner testified as a representative of
the California Senate before the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court in its case against
the California prison system’s
alleged prisoner overcrowding.
“There is no question that California’s
prison system has problems, but under no circumstances do the problems warrant
the early release of prisoners,” said Runner, who has led the charge in prison
reform in the State Legislature. “Other solutions exist – solutions that
Republicans have introduced in recent times – that would not endanger our
Runner’s testimony will help the federal government’s
three-judge panel (that was created in 2007) decide whether to place limits on California’s
prison population. At the heart of the issue is deciding whether the prison
system’s delivery of health care to prisoners is constitutional.
Runner affirmed to the court that indeed California
does meet the scrutiny of the US Constitution’s Eighth Amendment, which
prohibits cruel and unusual punishment to prisoners.
prisoners are afforded adequate health care,” Runner said. “In fact, the mortality
rate for California prisoners is
lower than that of the general public.”
Runner also testified that California’s
prison population has decreased in the past years, making it one of the lowest
per capita populations of the 50 states.