Both individuals and groups from all over the state have demanded to shift mass incarceration in California for more than a decade in different aspects. Now, Governor Gavin Newsom has announced his “California Model” for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), comprising of a set of proposals that are determined to be heading towards the direction of prison reform. Eliminating San Quentin State Prison's death row and constructing buildings that will resorted to greater rehabilitation approaches that are given in smaller groups of incarcerated members are just some solutions to the governor's plan.
There are mixed thoughts about the model. It more focuses on what the system creates but now what is actually is.
Mass incarceration tortures and degrades vulnerable populations that creates a strong reliance that we must punish in order to achieve justice. To expand rehabilitative opportunities in a highly incarcerated state is a form of progress, but to address what is stands for and its purpose, that is where Newsom fails at.
According to the Legislative Analyst's Office, Newsom's rehabilitation center at San Quentin will add $25 million per year to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) budget—all as Newsom has cut funding for housing and homelessness. If Newsom follows through on his promise to scale this plan, it will add $20 billion to CDCR's budget over 25 years. That's the estimated price tag to end homelessness in California today, according to the Appeal. This is just one of the most many examples of Newsom to actually disregard the impact of mass incarceration and how people actually get there.
Progress can never be promised by the state officials, let alone Governor Gavin Newsom.