This past week the Secretary of the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation, Jeffrey Beard, submitted his retirement date for the end of 2015. His tenure lasted 3 years, and represents a litany of Secretaries that have occupied the post over recent history.
Inmate-generated lawsuits continue to plague the system so much so that even Secretary Beard had included mention of it in his retirement announcement:
"Our prison population is now below the court cap, and we got there early. While the Three-Judge Court case is not yet over, we are working on creating the conditions so that it can end. We have also resolved the Mitchell and Ashker cases, and made significant progress in others, includingPlata, Coleman and Farrell."
Secretary Beard intended the statement to be one of hope, but after decades of relentless lawsuits by inmates, his words ring a little hollow.
The only thing that will change the system is for taxpayers to get fed up with it. Taxpayers must put pressure on their elected officials who select judges as well as judges that are voted in. Only when there is popular will to stop the fleecing of California's coffers to inmates and their lawyers will this end.