Democrats in the state Senate are not on board with Governor Jerry Brown's plan to reduce California's prison population, and they have their own plan.
Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg says instead of more cells, he wants to send $200 million to counties for an expansion of drug treatment and mental health care with one simple goal: To reduce prison admissions.
That of course would take time, and he's asking for it: three more years to reach a court-mandated population. The proposal is modeled after a 2009 effort that brought the population down by 9,000.
"What worked once, can and will work again," Steinberg said.
The plan calls for a settlement of the current overcrowding suit. It would go head to head with the governor's in the legislature.
Governor Brown's plan would introduce legislation to buy prison space to bring the state into compliance with an order to reduce capacity to below 137.5 percent. The Governor says the $315 million dollar plan works.
Brown says after the compliance is reached, then long term solutions involving all aspects of the criminal justice system can move forward.