Monday, March 19, 2012

Prison Reform Advocates Urge Restorative Justice

California prisons earlier this month took the step of eliminating a glaring symbol of overcrowding: dozens of gymnasium bunk beds. It’s part of a federal court ruling requiring the state's 33 institutions to shed 33,000 prisoners by June 2013. But critics of prison expansion say rearranging inmates conceals a serious problem in California: record incarceration rates, persistent overcrowding and the worst recidivism rates in the country. Advocates of restorative justice, a more holistic approach to the criminal justice system, met in Los Angeles today to offer alternatives to locking people up. Ernesto Arce reports.