AP — California may speed up the release of some inmates while allowing other inmates with a violent history to become firefighters, under a proposal to cut crowding in state prisons Gov. Jerry Brown filed late Thursday night.
Brown filed the plan "under protest," said Corrections Secretary Jeffrey Beard. Brown warned that the options he presented to the court would undermine public safety, and Beard reiterated that the state plans to appeal in an attempt to avoid going through with the measures.
The governor's plan calls for increasing early release credits for inmates and paroling elderly and incapacitated prisoners, while slowing the return of thousands of inmates who are being held in private prisons in other states.
Federal courts required the state to outline by midnight Thursday how it intends to meet a court-ordered population cap by the end of the year. A panel of federal judges threatened last month to hold the Democratic governor personally accountable if they decide he is not complying with their long-standing order, which already has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The state already is sentencing thousands of lower-level offenders to county jails instead of prison. But the judges ruled that it must reduce its prison population by an additional 9,300 inmates to improve medical and mental health care for inmates.
The state's plan includes: continue reading...