Editor's Note: California is transferring many prison inmates to jails in their counties of origin, a process known as Realignment that will impact the San Francisco Sheriff's Department. Mayor Ed Lee removed the elected head of that department last week, and the process for determining whether Lee acted appropriately could take months. With that context in mind, we present this inside look at Realignment by Eugene Alexander Day, a third strike inmate at Soledad Prison who will be writing occasional articles about prison life for the Guardian.
A perfect storm is brewing. An unparalleled crisis in corrections is exacerbated by an even worse economy. As a reform-minded inmate buried under a life sentence, it feels like hope is on the horizon. Judicial oversight is the cornerstone.
Due to a murderous and unconstitutional medical department, the Supreme Court implemented a population cap on the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). December marked the first of four benchmarks. By mid-2013, the prison population must be brought down by 33,000 inmates.