Calif. Ordered to Release Thousands - NBC Bay Area

Calif. Ordered to Release Thousands



    The US Supreme Court approved a lower court ruling that could require California to release as many as 46,000 inmates from its state prisons. (Published Monday, May 23, 2011)

    Thousands of California inmates can thank the Constitution for the present they were delivered Monday morning.

    The Supreme Court ruled Monday that California must cut its prison population by tens of thousands in order to improve health care for more serious offenders.

    In a 5-4 decision, the court ruled that the Constitution required the state to carry no more than 110,000 inmates in order to provide adequate health care for California's prisoners.

    California currently houses more than 142,000 inmates across 33 prisons. The ruling will require the state to release upwards of 32,000 convicted felons.

    Despite the pending release, California's prison system will still be carrying thousands more people than the system was designed for.