Public Safety & Justice

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects California's Appeal in Prison Overcrowding Case

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected Gov. Jerry Brown’s appeal Tuesday in the state’s long-running prison overcrowding case, essentially giving California officials until Jan. 27 to figure out what to do with at least 4,400 inmates.
October 16, 2013

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected Gov. Jerry Brown’s appeal Tuesday in the state’s long-running prison overcrowding case, essentially giving California officials until Jan. 27 to figure out what to do with at least 4,400 inmates.

The court rejected the appeal, without comment, on the grounds that it lacked jurisdiction to handle the appeal. Attorneys for the inmates had argued in court filings that the high court already had decided the issue two years earlier in their favor.

The Supreme Court’s decision to reject the case means the state must follow an order by a panel of three federal judges that California’s inmate population be reduced to 137.5 percent of capacity by Jan. 27. The inmate population in the state’s 34 adult prisons was 120,359 as of Oct. 2, and the judges’ order requires that number be trimmed to 112,164, according to the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Brown has said he would not allow a mass early release of inmates to achieve the reductions and instead would shift inmates to leased private prison cells. Beds identified by the state so far will leave about 4,414 inmates to be dealt with by the January deadline, and both the state and inmate attorneys have been ordered to discuss possible ways of settling the issue.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.

More from Public Safety & Justice