Thursday, January 31, 2013

Federal courts give California more time to ease prison crowding

Three federal judges on Tuesday agreed to give California an additional six months to reduce prison crowding to contested levels.

The U.S. District Courts' order that moves the deadline from June to December also demands California divulge whether it intends to file a motion to cease federal oversight of its prison healthcare system. The state in early January filed such an action to end oversight of the care given to mentally ill inmates, and Gov. Jerry Brown had vowed to seek a similar end to healthcare oversight as well. In the meantime, the judges put California’s motion to dismiss prison population caps altogether on hold.

Last week, one of those judges also ordered the state to produce details of its plans to return some 9,000 prisoners now housed in private prisons out of state, and to tell the court where it intends to house them.

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