California prepares to empty a prison for the first time; an Alternative Custody Program seeks to thin out the state's overcrowded prisons and to help reunite families; Deborah Peagler's story; and local duo Clangin' and Bangin'.
Last January, an alternative custody program was made law in California. So far 10 women have been released early and by the end of the next year, the California Department of Corrections expects 500 women to be back in their communities. The goal? To thin out the state’s overcrowded prisons and to help reunite families. KALW’s Nicole Jones reports on how this early release program is rolling out one year later.
California is home to the largest U.S. women’s prison, located in Chowchilla. Women represent the fastest growing sector of the prison population nationwide and in the state. And the Habeas Project says about two-thirds of women behind bars report they are survivors of domestic abuse. One of those women was Deborah Peagler.
Peagler says her boyfriend started abusing her shortly after they began dating at age 15. She says he was upset with her because she refused to prostitute herself.
Nationally, women are the fastest growing prison population. And one of the highest female prison populations in the world is here in California. That's slated to change under the state's new realignment program. The number of women in prison is supposed to shrink drastically, by as much as half, over the next few years.