California says it has the funding to reduce its prison population in compliance with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, but but it anticipates it will meet the court's first prisoner reduction benchmark a month behind schedule, reports California Watch. The state says it will sentence some felons to county jails instead of prison, transfer to counties the responsibility for monitoring some types of offenders after prison release, and require prisoners to serve time for parole violations in county jails.
Funding will come from a law that devotes 1 percent of the state's sales tax, an estimated $5 billion next fiscal year, for counties taking over responsibility for inmates. The court's first benchmark orders the corrections department to lower it prisoner population to 167 percent of capacity from 200 percent by Dec. 27. The department says it expects to reach that benchmark by Jan. 27, 2012.