California Governor Asks Judges to Extend the Deadline to Reduce Prison Crowding

January 24, 2014

Gov. Jerry Brown has again asked federal judges for more time to reduce crowding in California's prisons and, in an about-face, proposed to free inmates early if he misses an extended deadline.

California is under orders to remove thousands of inmates from state lockups by April 18, a deadline already delayed more than a year..

In papers filed in U.S. District Court on Thursday, Brown asked for an additional two years. That is "the minimum length of time needed to allow new reform measures to responsibly draw down the prison population while avoiding the early release of inmates," the documents say..

Brown has declared repeatedly that releasing prisoners early would jeopardize public safety. But to assure the court of his good intentions, the governor now proposes that the court appoint a monitor with the power to release prisoners if the state fails to meet a 2016 deadline or a series of smaller benchmarks before then..

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