Leaders Seek to Avoid Early Calif. Inmate Releases

Monday, Sep 9, 2013  |  Updated 12:06 PM PDT
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Leaders Seek to Avoid Early Calif. Inmate Releases

SACRAMENTO (AP) -- Gov. Jerry Brown and the four legislative leaders have reached a compromise on reducing the state's prison population, agreeing to ask a panel of federal judges to extend the end-of-the-year deadline on releasing thousands of inmates.

The deal announced Monday relies on the state persuading three federal judges to give the state time to let rehabilitation programs work rather than spending $315 million to lease cells in private prisons and available county jails.

The leaders agreed that if the judges don't extend the deadline, the state will fall back on Brown's plan to lease beds.

It resolves an impasse as lawmakers race toward the end of the legislative session this week.

The state will argue that it would be better for California to spend a portion of the money on drug, mental health and other rehabilitation programs.

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