Two years ago, California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed Assembly Bill (AB) 109 or the Public Safety Realignment Act, which required the realignment of several low-level prisoners in an effort to reduce the number of inmates in the state’s 33 prisons to 137.5 percent of design capacity by June 2013.
On Sept. 12, members of the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) Northern California Chapter gathered to learn more about the San Francisco Department of Public Works Justice Facilities Improvement Program. The $1.6 billion capital program includes replacing the Hall of Justice (HOJ).
The Sheriff’s Office in Whatcom County is working hard to plan a new jail facility for the current overcrowded and outdated facility, which has been open since 1948. The existing jail, designed to hold 390 inmates, is facing significant overcrowding issues related to the county’s significant growth in the last 30 years and increased recidivism. Because of this overcrowding, many inmates with minor charges have been released early to free up space for other inmates who need to serve time.
The American Institute of Architect’s Academy of Architecture for Justice (AIA AAJ) is holding its 2013 fall conference in Portland this week. The three-day conference is open to AIA and non-AIA members, all of those active in justice facilities including planners, architects, owners, public safety officials, officers and administrators, contractors and vendors.
Following a bitter battle between California Gov. Jerry Brown and a three-judge federal panel, lawmakers have approved a $315 million plan to bring California’s prison population in compliance with federal orders.
The time is now to modernize prison sentencing, according to Attorney General Eric Holder.
In a speech to the American Bar Association, the attorney general said the criminal justice system should take a more focused effort to reduce crimes of violence and reconsider the current standards of mandatory minimum sentences for drug-related crimes. Several changes in the Justice Department’s handling of prison sentences were announced.