A panel of federal judges Monday gave California two more years to cut its prison population to a level originally ordered in 2009, a move that once again gives the state more breathing room to comply, but also establishes a non-negotiable deadline. 28, 2016, to reduce the inmate population in its 34 adult prisons – designed to hold 81,574 inmates – to 137.5 percent of its current design capacity. The order requires the number to be reduced to 112,164 and bars the state from sending inmates to out-of-state prisons to get to that level. Jerry Brown’s administration that promised the judges the state would not seek further delays or court appeals if an extension was granted.
The order comes from a specially created three-judge court consisting of 9th U. Circuit Court Judge The panel found in 2009 that overcrowding in California’s adult prisons has pulled the quality of medical and mental health care for inmates well below constitutional standards.
On Monday, after more than a year of intense legal fights, the governor indicated he was pleased with the decision.
28, 2015 (115,427 inmates); and to 137.5 percent a year after that (112,164 inmates).Filed under: California State Budget, Crime, Politics, Prisons | A three-judge federal court on Thursday rejected Gov.Jerry Brown’s attempt to avoid the court’s order to reduce California’s prison population, saying if his administration does not further relieve prison overcrowding, the governor and his top prison officials will face contempt of court. The three judges said in a 71-page order that if Brown and his top corrections officials do not comply with the 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. 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. That panel first ordered the population reduction in 2009, finding after a non-jury trial that overcrowding was the primary reason for unconstitutional health care in the prison system.Fluctuations in limpet size show no clear correlation with changes in sea surface temperature and marine productivity, suggesting that increased predation by growing human populations was primarily responsible for the reduction in size over time.Our results provide further evidence that prehistoric peoples significantly influenced nearshore fisheries long before the development of the commercial and industrialized fisheries of historic times.► Size changes in the owl limpet (Lottia gigantea) through 10,000 years are examined.Since the motion was filed in early January, Brown and Corrections Secretary Jeffrey Beard have said that, if their request was denied, they would appeal to the U. In a stinging rebuke of that effort April 5, Sacramento U. He said prison mental health care is still woefully short of adequate when measured against constitutional requirements. California’s prison inmate population must be reduced by the end of this year to 137.5 percent of the design capacity of its 33 adult prisons.Karlton also sits on the specially convened three-judge court that has the population issue before it, along with 9th U. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Reinhardt and U. An appeal of the panel’s initial order to the Supreme Court went against the state in 2011.“The conditions are still overcrowded and it’s still cruel and unusual punishment.” Specter, whose staff and co-counsel had won a string of legal victories over the state until Monday, said no decision had been made yet on whether an appeal will be filed. The deadline extension “is dangerous and unjustified,” declared Michael Bien, lead counsel for the inmates.Any appeal from the three-judge court goes directly to the U. He cited a recent series of hearings before Karlton on the handling of mentally ill inmates as proof that “the violations (of previous court orders) are so extreme that it is dangerous to do this. I hope the state takes this undeserved opportunity to improve the unconstitutional conditions that persist, but there’s no assurance it will.” Others warned that the judges’ order eventually could increase crime.“This court order is tragic; it turns our justice system upside down,” state Sen. “Once released, these dangerous felons will threaten our local communities, where residents are already suffering from increased crime and where police agencies are overburdened,” added Nielsen, a former chair of the state Board of Prison Terms.The judges said the reductions to be achieved over the next two years can come from immediately increasing good time credits for nonviolent, second-strike offenders and minimum-custody inmates, expanding parole for medically incapacitated inmates, creating new rules to allow for parole hearings for inmates 60 and older who have served at least 25 years, and from other means.