California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has bowed to a federal court order and submitted a plan to reduce California’s prison population by more than 40,000 in two years, largely by sending fewer people to prison for relatively minor crimes and parole violations, says the San Francisco Chronicle. Corrections Secretary Matthew Cate complied with a court deadline while insisting that the court had no authority to order the population-reduction plan. The state is appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The plan includes several Schwarzenegger proposals that the legislature has rejected: allowing some elderly or ailing prisoners to finish their sentences in local custody or home confinement; sending criminals to county jail for crimes like drug possession, receiving stolen property and writing bad checks; and raising the threshold for felony grand theft from $400 to $950.