Politics

Gov. Brown Dismisses Bid To Delay Fed Order To Reduce Prison Population

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Inmates at Chino State Prison walk the hallway on December 10, 2010 in Chino, California. The U.S. Supreme Court is preparing to hear arguments to appeal a federal court's ruling last year that the California state prison system would have to release 40,000 prisoners to cope with overcrowding so severe that it violated their human rights. More than 144,000 inmates are currently incarcerated in prisons that were designed to hold about 80,000. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Inmates at Chino State Prison walk the hallway. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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SACRAMENTO (CBS/AP) — California Gov. Jerry Brown is dismissing a proposal by Democratic allies in the state Senate, who want to seek a settlement of a federal lawsuit that could force the state to free thousands of prison inmates later this year.

The Democratic governor says in a statement Wednesday that it would be irresponsible to leave the state’s criminal justice policy in the hands of the private attorneys suing the state on behalf of inmates.

He is insisting that the Legislature pass his own proposal to spend $315 million this year to lease empty cells in private prisons and county jails. Federal judges have ordered the state to reduce its prison population by 9,600 inmates by year’s end.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg says Brown’s proposal is essentially dead on arrival.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed)

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