- Associated Press - Monday, February 10, 2014

A federal court order issued Monday requires California to meet a prison population cap by February 2016, with interim deadlines along the way. The state’s 33 adult prisons and a new medical facility in Stockton were designed to hold a combined 81,574 inmates. They currently house about 117,500, or 144 percent of their designed capacity.

Under the court’s order:

- The state must reduce the population to 143 percent of design capacity by June 30 and to 141.5 percent of capacity by Feb. 28, 2015.

- It must reduce the population to 137.5 percent of designed capacity, or 112,164 inmates, by Feb. 28, 2016.

- If the state fails to meet the interim or final caps, a court-appointed compliance officer will release inmates based on their perceived risk to public safety and other factors.


Among steps the state will take to meet the cap:

- Increase good-time credits for nonviolent second-strike offenders, resulting in the earlier release of a projected 1,400 inmates by February 2016. Second-strikers previously could earn up to 20 percent off their sentences, but in the future could be released after serving two-thirds of their sentences.

- Release about 350 nonviolent second-strikers by making them eligible for parole after they served half their sentences.

- Free about 65 inmates who already have been granted parole by the Board of Parole Hearings but whose actual release dates are sometime in the future.

- Add about 80 women to an alternative custody program for female inmates.

- Parole about 100 medically incapacitated inmates by expanding an existing medical parole program that during the last three years has allowed for the parole of 56 inmates.

- Speed up parole for about 165 offenders who are serving lengthy sentences for crimes they committed as minors.

- Parole a projected 85 inmates age 60 or older who have served at least 25 years in prison.

- Expand a Stockton medical facility to house about 1,100 mentally ill inmates.

- Continue housing about 8,900 inmates in private prisons in other states.

- House about 3,500 inmates in private prisons within California.

- Build cells for about 2,400 inmates at two existing prisons.

- Reopen the 600-bed Northern California Re-entry Facility in Stockton.

- House about 2,400 inmates in a former private prison at California City, between Bakersfield and Barstow.

- House about 300 inmates in county jails through contracts for surplus jail space.

- House about 500 inmates in new community re-entry centers.

- Consider additional changes to reduce the population, including the possible establishment of a commission to recommend changes to sentencing laws.



Population reduction estimates by state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Department of Finance.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide