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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

California governor seeks $315 million for prison fix

CNNGov. Jerry Brown asked for $315 million on Tuesday to help implement a plan to deal with California's overcrowded prisons.

A federal court has ordered California to limit its state prison population to 137.5% of capacity by the end of the year.

"This legislation will protect public safety and give us time to work with public officials and interested parties to make thoughtful changes in the overall criminal justice system," the governor said in a statement.

Besides a request for money, Brown's plan includes calls to suspend the closure of the California Rehabilitation Center in Norco and to lease prison space in and outside the state.

His office said the plan would prevent the early release of thousands of prisoners and help ensure public safety.

Prison overcrowding is a nationwide problem, but California's dilemma is unique in its massive scope and time frame.

"While today's announcement helps address the prison crisis in the short term, there's still more work to be done to address the challenges in the criminal justice system," said Assembly Republican leader Connie Conway.

"We will continue to work with the governor and the speaker to find sustainable solutions that will honor the court's demands, while keeping Californians safe," Conway said.

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