California officials would comply with a court order to reduce the prison population by locking up inmates in different places, but advocates say that’s a shortsighted approach to the problem, reports the Los Angeles Times. The state’s 34 prisons must hold 9,600 fewer inmates by the end of the year, says a penal of judges. Officials are trying to find room for the inmates in private prisons, county jails, and other facilities.
Don Specter, a lawyer for inmates who sued the state over prison conditions, said the plan to relocate inmates would only provide a temporary solution. “It's expensive. It doesn't do anything to further rehabilitation,” he said. “It just perpetuates the same policy.” James Austin, a prison consultant, said it makes more sense to expand credits for good behavior, allowing low-security inmates to be released early. He said that will save the state money without increasing the crime rate. “It works,” he said. “And it doesn't jeopardize public safety.”