If Steinberg doesn’t back a major proposal, it’s unlikely that proposal will make it through the Democratic controlled Senate. And Steinberg doesn’t like Brown’s plan to lease additional cell space to comply with federal court orders to reduce overcrowding in California prisons.
“My colleagues and I have been vociferous in support of the governor’s support to appeal the overcrowding order to the Supreme Court,” he said. “Unfortunately the governor lost that battle.”
And so, Steinberg said, it’s time to take a different approach. He’s encouraging the governor and lawyers for inmates that originally sued over prison conditions to settle using a plan he created as the basis for negotiations.
Steinberg’s approach involves coming up with a new cap for the prison population and extending the deadline to meet it by three years.
In a statement Brown dismissed Steinberg’s plan.
“It would not be responsible to turn over California’s criminal justice policy to inmate lawyers who are not accountable to the people,” Brown said.
But attorneys for the inmates said they support Steinberg’s plan and are ready to sit down and negotiate with the governor.