Sacramento, CA – A panel of three federal judges has ordered the state to reduce its prison population by 44,000 inmates within the next two years.
Lawmakers must now come up with an inmate reduction plan within 45 days. The ruling means that California will have to reduce its prison population by nearly a quarter, unless it is reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Republican State Senator Dave Cogdill has issued a statement in opposition, “Ordering the release of a quarter of the state’s prison population may benefit 44,000 inmates who will not pay their full debt to society, but it puts 36 million Californians in jeopardy.”
The federal judge panel says California’s prison system is currently at 190 percent of its design capacity. Governor Schwarzenegger says he plans to appeal the decision.
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