Capitol Alert: AM Alert: How did California prisons get where they are today?

jwhite@sacbee.comOctober 21, 2013 

Inmates wait in the Roger Bauman intake facility in Elk Grove before integrating into the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center, March 1, 2012.

RENEE C. BYER — Sacramento Bee

One of the outcomes of the late-session push to mitigate California's prison overcrowding issues was the promise of a comprehensive look at the state's criminal justice policies. Gov. Jerry Brown even cited the forthcoming effort in vetoing sentencing-related legislation.

Today, things get underway with the first hearing of the new Assembly Select Committee on Justice Reinvestment, chaired by Democratic Assemblymen Tom Ammiano of San Francisco and Reggie Jones-Sawyer of Los Angeles.

Drew Soderborg of Legislative Analyst's Office is expected to testify about how the prison population grew and how that increase affected inmates' health care. Don Specter of the Prison Law Office will address the role of the federal courts in the state's prisons. The public informational hearing convenes at 10 a.m. in room 126 of the California Capitol.

VIDEO: Dan Walters weeds out the intentions behind Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom's latest big initiative on marijuana.

STATE CONTROLLER 2014: You may recall news from earlier this year about Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, running into a little trouble with the FBI. You'd think something so public might undermine a run for statewide office -- in this case, state controller. The recent announcement that Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez was entering the race probably hasn't helped, either.

But Calderon will be gathering supporters tonight at Capital Dime for a Monday Night Football-themed Ron Calderon for Controller 2014 fundraiser. It also bears noting that money continued flowing into Calderon's campaign committee even after federal agents came knocking in early June: Insurance industry organizations still pushed in thousands of dollars later in the month.

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