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U.S. Supreme Court Rules California Must Reduce Prison Population by 10,000 by Jan. 27, 2014

October 15, 2013
The state of California was dealt a blow today when the U.S. Supreme Court denied Gov. Jerry Brown’s appeal that requested an additional two years to fulfill the Court’s order to reduce prison to 137.5 percent of capacity by Jan. 27, 2014.
 
A previous court order extended the deadline from Dec. 31, 2013 by 27 days. The state has since 2006 reduced its prison population by 42,000. More than half (25,000) of that reduction has occurred following the enactment of AB 109 in 2011. To meet the court order the state must lower that population by an additional 10,000.

The Governor has repeatedly warned that the Court’s order would threaten public safety and has filed several appeals. The state will now proceed to implement SB 105 (summary below), with the amended deadline of Jan. 27. Rehabilitation funding that is slated to go to each county to help manage their offender programs is contingent on the outcome of a meet-and-confer process between the parties ordered by the federal court. This may result in a further extension of the inmate release deadline, however this process has not yet concluded.
 
A deal struck this summer by Governor Brown and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) authorizes the county funding. For more on SB 105, please see “Governor’s Prison Plan Supported by the League Among Local Government and Public Safety Groups,” CA Cities Advocate, Aug. 30, 2013.
 
SB 105 (Steinberg): Corrections.
Chapter 310, Statutes of 2013
This measure implements the Governor's plan to reduce California’s prison population to 137.5 percent of capacity by Dec. 31, 2013. Re-opens 14 community corrections facilities (CCFs) across the state to house up to 3,000 inmates, and authorizes up to 5,000 inmates to be transferred out of state, including temporary authority to perform involuntary transfers, set to expire in three years. Projected cost of $1.13 billion through the end of FY 2015–2016, with additional annual costs of about $350 million to maintain the CCFs.
 
For more, please see “Court Grants Fraction of Brown’s Stay Request,” CA Cities Advocate, Sept. 25, 2013.


 
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