Prison Officials Expect State Will Meet Goal To Reduce Overcrowding
On Tuesday, officials from the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation filed papers sayingÂ they expect to meet a federal court mandate to reduce California's inmate population by 23% in the next two years, the San Jose Mercury News reports (Mintz, San Jose Mercury News, 8/16).
The department's filing conflicts with a report released earlier this month by the Legislative Analyst's Office. The LAO report projected that the state would miss the deadlines and recommended that the state ask for an extension (Thompson, AP/San Jose Mercury News, 8/16).
Five years ago, a federal judge ruled thatÂ poor prison health care in California was leading to about 50 inmate deaths annually. A panel of three judges appointed a receiver to oversee health care and ordered the state to reduce its prison population.
Details of the State Plan
Prison officials said the state will fall slightly short of meeting the court's first deadline at the end of this year (AP/San Jose Mercury News, 8/16). Under the requirements, California has to have the state's inmate population at 167% of capacity by December. According to prison officials, the population will be reduced by 9,200 inmates, or about 169% of capacity, by that time (Stanton, "Sacto 9-1-1," Sacramento Bee, 8/16).
However, officials said they are on track with their long-term plan to transfer lower-level offenders to county correctional facilities (AP/San Jose Mercury News, 8/16).
Under the realignment strategy, the state said it will meet a benchmark to shift about 20,000 inmates by June 2012.
In addition, state officials said Gov. Jerry Brown's (D) administration does not expect to request additional time to meet the deadlines.
However, officials left that possibility open in case the realignment plan falls short (San Jose Mercury News, 8/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.