AP — Gov. Jerry Brown asked federal judges Thursday to give the state two more years to reduce prison crowding to the level set by the court, and said inmates could be released early if the state fails to meet its goals.
The proposal presented to the special three-judge panel calls for the court to appoint a compliance officer to choose which inmates would be freed.
The state faces an uncertain spring deadline to reduce the prison population by more than 5,000 inmates to comply with the court's population cap.
Brown wants the deadline extended to Feb. 28, 2016. He proposed that the state meet interim population reduction deadlines in June 2014 and February 2015.
Two years is "the minimum length of time needed to allow new reform measures to responsibly draw down the prison population while avoiding the early release of inmates," the administration said in its seven-page court filing.
The judges had ordered the administration and attorneys representing inmates to propose separate plans by Thursday after they failed to reach agreement on how best to reduce crowding.
Inmates' attorneys said in their four-page filing that the state should be ordered to meet the population cap by May of this year. The filing recommended that the state comply by sending more inmates to private prisons in other states, something the state said would not be necessary under its proposal. The state currently houses about 8,900 inmates housed in out-of-state facilities.
The inmates' lawyers also asked the court to appoint a compliance officer to order inmates released, if necessary. continue reading...