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Prison-reform activists target Perata

Prison-reform activists unhappy with the state’s $7.4 billion plan to build 53,000 new prison and jail beds will focus their ire upon state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, D-Oakland, with a protest at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday outside his district office at 1515 Clay St. in Oakland.

Organized by Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) — a statewide coalition of a few dozen groups calling for curbing prison spending by reducing the number of people in prison and closing prisons — the protestors are piqued that the Democrat-dominated Legislature and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger struck this deal without public hearings and debate, and the Legislature had no bill language before its vote. The deal doesn’t include adequate resources for rehabilitation efforts, they say.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Pray4Peace

    An offical from Donovan state prison in San Diego announced on a radio show that their rehab, drug, and education programs reduced the recidivism rate from 70% to 21%.

    That saved us taxpayers a lot of money in incarceration cost from those who would have returned to prison.

    More important, it helped prevent new crime and new victims.

    Turning ex-offenders out of prison without the proven rehab and training programs in a world where few employers will hire them and few landlords will rent to them make no sense at all.