Jerry Brown Transformed California’s Justice System – Twice

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California Gov. Jerry Brown steps down Monday having radically reshaped the most populous state’s criminal justice system twice – once as a young governor, again in the last eight years. He says one of his missteps was the criminal justice overhaul he oversaw during his first two terms in the 1970s and 1980s. Get-tough sentencing laws crowded prisons to the bursting point, spurring a federal takeover of many prison operations and a cap on the inmate population. Now 80, he leaves office after again reshaping the system. The Democratic governor has spent much of his second two terms reducing criminal penalties and shuffling less-serious offenders to county jails instead of state lockups. The state’s longest-serving governor also eclipsed records dating to at least the 1940s in granting pardons and commutations.

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