Three weeks after California Gov. Jerry Brown declared the state’s prison overcrowding crisis over, a court of three federal judges said state officials can have six more months to reduce the inmate population to the previously ordered level, reports the Sacramento Bee. The judges noted that California officials have said they cannot meet the court’s June 30 deadline for reducing its population to 137.5 percent of design capacity, but the officials believe they can hit that mark by Dec. 31.
Since the governor instituted his so-called realignment program a year ago to divert nonviolent, nonserious offenders to county jurisdictions, the state has made progress cutting the prison population, but Brown said he cannot release additional inmates without putting the public at risk. The federal court wants the prison population cut by the end of the year to about 110,000 inmates, down from about 119,000 currently. The design capacity of the state’s 33 adult prisons is about 80,000.