This paper evaluates how “tough on crime” sentencing policies have influenced California's prison population. Several laws which make up the state's strict criminal justice practices were passed over the course of forty years without consideration for their impact on the state's budget and safety. Beginning with the Uniform Determinate Sentencing Act of 1976, the state has created an unsustainable prison system that will dissolve without increased public funding. However, California’s depleted economic condition has forced policymakers to reevaluate the state's criminal justice agenda, while complying with the three- judge court order to reduce its incarcerated population to 137.5 percent of design capacity by June 2013.
"Reducing California's Overcrowded Prison Population,"
Themis: Research Journal of Justice Studies and Forensic Science:
Vol. 1, Article 2.
Available at: http://scholarworks.sjsu.edu/themis/vol1/iss1/2