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Calif. has until midnight to to say how it will cut prison crowding

Posted: May 2, 2013 3:30 p.m.
Updated: May 2, 2013 3:30 p.m.

Inmates are housed in three-tier bunks at an institution in Tracy, Calif. Aug. 3, 2006.

 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Reducing California's prison population by tens of thousands of inmates is not enough for the federal courts, which have given Gov. Jerry Brown's administration until midnight to say how they will reduce the population even further.

California needs to shed another 9,300 state inmates to reach a court-ordered population cap by the end of the year.

The governor could be cited with contempt if the judges believe he is trying to dodge their long-standing order, which has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Greatly reducing the state's prison population is seen as the best way to improve medical and mental health care for inmates, treatment that has been ruled unconstitutional.

Yet the governor has said he cannot reduce the inmate population any more without endangering public safety.

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