Department of Corrections Secretary Tilton Faces Confirmation Hearing

Acting Secretary James Tilton of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation faces a confirmation hearing July 11 for permanency of his position.

Opponents of Tilton are expected to attend the hearing, some writing formal letters of opposition against his confirmation as Secretary. Even though those opposed to Tilton agree he inherited a very broken system, they say that he has exacerbated many problems.

Tilton promotes a rules change proposal, for which there is a hearing July 31, that increases strip searches of inmates’ families. The stated reason for the additional security is to prevent the entry of drugs and other items into the prisons. Previous investigations show current visitor screening processes prevent contraband from being brought into the prison by visitors. That obviously leaves only staff, suppliers and vehicles capable of bringing in drugs, weapons, cell phones and other items. If the strip searches deter families from visiting inmates and prevent contraband from entering that way, how will the Secretary explain its continued entry?

Tilton’s proposed rule change is pointed to by opponents as being just one example of his inability to do the job of Secretary and his lack of imagination.

A $7.7 billion package supported by Tilton proposes to build more prisons, adding 53,000 new prison beds. The argument for adding the new prisons and beds is that serious overcrowding is prevented. Opponents to the plan say that the state prison bed shortage is far less than 53,000 beds and the counties have more bed shortages that the plan does not address.

Another of the acting secretary’s plans is to move around 8,000 prisoners out of state in order to reduce overcrowding in California. Opponents to that plan, including the CCPOA (prison guards association) say the plan will not reduce overcrowding. Moving prisoners out of state will also break up families, preventing families from visiting prisoners.

Previously, Tilton agreed with the need for community programs, alternative sentencing and more effective parole supervision, but his plans do not include sentencing or parole reform, two major items his opponents say are sorely needed – and the primary causes of overcrowding.

Several lawsuits name Tilton. 28 lawsuits were filed by the “UNION” families “for his indifference to pleas for help which resulted in immeasurable suffering and continues to do so.” Some of the lawsuits name him “for a failure to protect the safety of prisoners in life and death situations.”

Opponents to Tilton’s confirmation say he has had several months to display leadership to address the severe medical neglect throughout the California Prison System. His lack of action and concern on many issues, such as rehabilitation programs and mentally ill prisoners demonstrates that Tilton is not effective in the position of Secretary of the CDCR and should not be confirmed.

Editor’s note: “UNION” means “United for No Injustice, Oppression or Neglect”

Alan Gray is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of NewsBlaze Daily News and other online newspapers. He prefers to edit, rather than write, but sometimes an issue rears it’s head and makes him start hammering away on the keyboard.

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Alan has been on the internet since it first started. He loves to use his expertise in content and digital marketing to help businesses grow, through managed content services. After living in the United States for 15 years, he is now in South Australia. To learn more about how Alan can help you with content marketing and managed content services, contact him by email.

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Alan is also a techie. His father was a British soldier in the 4th Indian Division in WWII, with Sikhs and Gurkhas. He was a sergeant in signals and after that, he was a printer who typeset magazines and books on his linotype machine. Those skills were passed on to Alan and his brothers, who all worked for Telecom Australia, on more advanced signals (communications). After studying electronics, communications, and computing at college, and building and repairing all kinds of electronics, Alan switched to programming and team building and management.

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