California prison chief resigns, cites interference

California State Prisons Chief resigns after 2 months on the job

Jeanne S. Woodford, as did her predecessor, reportedly complained of political interference.

Her departure follows the resignation in February of Roderick Q. Hickman, who said he was moving on because he lacked sufficient political support to bring change to a prison system that is often called a revolving-door warehouse for felons.

California’s “political environment and the power of special interests,” Hickman said at the time, “work against efforts to bring about lasting reform.”

In recent days, Woodford, 52, expressed some of the same concerns, said one official familiar with the situation, who asked not be named because he was not authorized to discuss the matter.

Woodford was particularly distressed that top aides to Schwarzenegger were consulting the prison guards union about her suggested candidates for warden jobs and other positions in the department, the official said.

Woodford, a 28 year veteran, was a genuine reformist who stressed alcohol and drug treatment so offenders would not return to prison. Given the neandertal prison guards union and other entrenched special interests, her views were considered heresy and ridiculed, then attacked.

Here’s what she was trying to do, from our report of her speech in April of last year.

Now you see who Arnold really is. Only in the thuggish world of a powerful politically-connected prison guards union combined with those who want to build ever more prisons, would those who want to stop the revolving door of prison through alcohol and drug treatment be unmercifully attacked.

Because, for them, it’s all about the money. More prisoners means more jobs for guards and more prisons to be built, and someone sure is getting rich off all those new prisons, all part of the huge, and still growing, California prison-industrial complex.
[tags]Jeanne Woodford[/tags]

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