California Ordered by Federal Judges to Release Nearly 10,000 Prisoners – MacGregor & Collins, LLP

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According to the LA Times (6/20/13), a panel of three federal judges recently ordered officials to decrease the California prison population by 10,000 people. Randy Collins, California criminal attorney, believes the order to be in the state’s best interest, but expresses concern over the methods used to evaluate those who will be released.

California prisoner

Prison overcrowding has been deemed to be cruel and unusual punishment

If this process is handled properly there will be several benefits, the most important being a public stance by the federal government to continue to uphold the rights of American citizens regardless of their crimes or circumstance.

According to the LA Times (6/20/13), a panel of three federal judges recently ordered officials to decrease the California prison population by 10,000 people. Randy Collins, California criminal attorney, believes the order to be in the state’s best interest, but expresses concern over the methods used to evaluate those who will be released.

The legality of overcrowded prisons in California has been fought in the courtroom for decades with two class action lawsuits on behalf of prisoners pushing politicians towards change. A landmark decision by the Supreme Court in May of 2011 (No. 09-1233), ruled that overcrowding in California’s state prisons is a form of cruel and unusual punishment and a violation of prisoner’s constitutional rights.

Now, according to the LA Times, federal judges have ordered Governor Jerry Brown to begin releasing inmates so that California prisons will be in full compliance. To reach full compliance, the number of prison inmates would have to be less than 137.5% of the designed capacity for each facility. California prisons would need to release 9,500 inmates to reach that goal.

Randy Collins, Newport Beach criminal attorney, has represented several violent and non-violent offenders and believes that there could be catastrophic consequences if the process of reducing prisoners is not done properly. “As an experienced defense lawyer, I can personally attest to the fact that there are a large number of individuals currently in prison that show no evidence of being a violent risk to the general public. Unfortunately, the people who will be in charge of identifying offenders who are fit to be released may not be in the best position to make that judgment, nor would anyone else for that matter. The process of releasing inmates should be tedious and done with great care.

“Prison inmates have the constitutional right to be detained in a way that is reasonably comfortable. Convicted murderers and rapists do not deserve to be living comfortably, but to exceed the maximum capacity of prisoners by such a large amount is dangerous and cruel. If this process is handled properly there will be several benefits, the most important being a public stance by the federal government to continue to uphold the rights of American citizens regardless of their crimes or circumstance,” said Attorney Collins.

California officials have several additional options to identify prisoners who can now be eligible for released. Progress has been made by sending lower-level criminal offenders to county jails rather than state prisons. Officials may also begin to utilize options that will release non-violent inmates from prison prior to their release date.

About MacGregor & Collins, LLP

MacGregor & Collins, LLP is a criminal defense law firm based in Newport Beach, California. Firm partners, Randy Collins and Ronald MacGregor, have developed a reputation for providing top-notch legal services for every client regardless of their crimes. Mr. Collins has obtained a public following for his work representing alleged DUI offenders and his willingness to provide payment plans for clients with financial hardships.

To obtain a free legal case evaluation from a MacGregor & Collins, LLP attorney call 949-250-6097.

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