California Governor Gavin Newsom has announced plans to transform San Quentin State Prison into a model for rehabilitation and education for inmates.
The prison, which is California’s oldest and has been described as its most infamous, is currently home to the state’s largest population of people on death row.
Newsom wants to move them to other facilities and focus on providing education and rehabilitation for the thousands of other inmates serving time there.
The governor is putting together an advisory panel and asking the legislature for $20 million to create new programs at San Quentin.
He also wants to build on the momentum that has already been created at the facility, which offers education courses on several topics, including coding and media arts.
Republicans in the legislature have criticized Newsom’s approach for not incorporating victims, but the governor argues that changing the way the incarceration system works is necessary to improve public safety and address crime and violence in the state.
Newsom is expected to continue his tour in Los Angeles, where he will address the cost of healthcare.