California Gets an Extra Month to Relieve Prison Crowding

Federal judges Tuesday gave Gov. Jerry Brown an extra month to meet their order to relieve prison crowding, directing his administration to negotiate with inmates' lawyers in the meantime for long-term solutions to the problem.
September 25, 2013

Federal judges Tuesday gave Gov. Jerry Brown an extra month to meet their order to relieve prison crowding, directing his administration to negotiate with inmates' lawyers in the meantime for long-term solutions to the problem.

Saying confidential talks between the state and the inmates' representatives must begin immediately, the judges pushed their Dec. 31 deadline to Jan. 27 and ordered the two sides to report back to them by Oct. 21.

Their directive says the discussions should focus on "how this Court can ensure a durable solution to the prison crowding problem."

The governor had asked for a three-year delay of a three-judge panel's edict that about 9,600 prisoners be removed from California's lockups. In return, he promised to relocate about 2,500 prisoners quickly and to fund rehabilitation programs intended to ultimately lower the number of repeat offenders going to prison.

Without a postponement, Brown said, he would instead expand relocation of inmates to private prisons in other states, a costly prospect opposed by advocates for prisoners and their families.

In Tuesday's order, the judges told the state to halt negotiations for out-of-state prison beds.

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