Sacbee — A three-judge federal court on Thursday denied the state's motion to soften a mandate that California's prison inmate population must be reduced by the end of the year to 137.5 percent of the design capacity of its 33 adult prisons.
Since the motion was filed in early January, Gov. Jerry Brown and Corrections Secretary Jeffrey Beard have said that, if their request was denied, they would appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The three judges said in a 71-page order that if Brown and his top corrections officials do not comply with Thursday's order, they would be held in contempt "individually and collectively."
They wrote that they make such a threat reluctantly, "but with determination that defendants will not be allowed to continue to violate the requirements of the Constitution of the United States."
The ruling was the second major setback in less than a week for the Brown administration's all-out push to get prison health care out from under control of the federal judiciary.
In a stinging rebuke of that effort April 5, Sacramento U.S. District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton not only denied the state's motion to terminate his oversight of prison mental health care, he struck down part of the state's evidence in support of the motion, finding Brown, corrections officials and their lawyers from the Attorney General's Office stooped to unethical tactics. continue reading...