San Jose Mercury News
With a unanimity rare in public policy circles, politicians, penal experts, judges and special commissions are agreed: Every facet of California's $8 billion-a-year prison system is in a state of collapse.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has described his Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation as ``falling apart in front of our very eyes.'' His top assistant calls the dangerously overcrowded system ``a powder keg.'' And the man brought in by a federal court to correct health-care conditions it found unconstitutional says the level of care ``is at or below Third World standards.''