- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 28, 2015

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Authorities say overcrowding at Los Angeles County jails is beginning to ease thanks to a state measure that reduced penalties for many nonviolent offenders.

The county Board of Supervisors was told Tuesday that the jail population plunged from around 19,000 in September to under 16,000 at year’s end.

That’s the lowest it’s been since 2011, when California began shipping felons to county lockups to ease state prison crowding.

Sheriff’s officials say the change is largely due to Proposition 47, passed by California voters last year. It reduced sentences for some nonviolent drug and property crimes.

Assistant Sheriff Terri McDonald told supervisors that the falling population means inmates are now serving 90 percent of their sentences on average instead of being freed early to make room in cells.

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