California will seek to move thousands of inmates to private prisons in a last-ditch attempt to avoid releasing violent offenders to ease prison crowding, reports the Associated Press. The state will take the step after the U.S. Supreme Court last week refused to delay a lower court order requiring California to free nearly 10,000 inmates by year’s end, said Corrections Secretary Jeffrey Beard.
Beard said the state will soon ask a lower federal court to permit the state to house at least 4,000 inmates in privately operated cells in California and other states. There are enough additional beds available to avoid most if not all of the early releases that would otherwise occur, he said. The state already houses nearly 9,000 inmates in private prisons in other states. It would be expensive but preferable to freeing inmates early, Beard said.