SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A special panel of federal judges tentatively ruled Monday that California must release tens of thousands of inmates to relieve overcrowding.Link.
"There are simply too many prisoners for the existing capacity," they wrote. "Evidence offered at trial was overwhelmingly to the effect that overcrowding is the primary cause of the unconstitutional conditions that have been found to exist in the California prisons."
The three judges suggested a target prison population of between 100,800 and 121,000 inmates — down from the current level of about 158,000. More inmates live in conservation camps, community correctional facilities and private prisons in other states.
The proposed targets would require the state to reduce the prison population by between 36,200 and 57,000 inmates. Attorneys representing inmates had sought a reduction of about 52,000 inmates.
Here's hoping that they pick non-violent offenders to release. Of course, if we got rid of The War on (Some) Drugs, it's unlikely the prisons would be so overcrowded to begin with.