California corrections officials will announce Friday that they have got rid of the last of thousands of bunks that were crammed into day rooms, gymnasiums, and other spaces to hold inmates, reports the Sacramento Bee. Corrections Director Matthew Cate says the “iconic images of (the) overcrowding crisis” are gone. “As of the very end of last week, there were no more inmates currently sleeping in them,” corrections spokesman Jeffrey Callison said Monday. The use of what the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation calls “nontraditional beds” peaked at just under 20,000 in 2007.
After the Supreme Court ruling that prison population must go down by more than 30,000, Gov. Jerry Brown’s “realignment” plan, which shifts responsibility for some offenders considered low-level, nonviolent and nonserious to county jails, the prison count has dropped from 144,000 inmates to about 127,770. The state hopes to reduce overall population to 137.5 percent of capacity – about 110,000 inmates – by June 2013.