Gov. Brown Expected To Sign Bill To Reduce State’s Overcrowded Prisons

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California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation officer looks on as inmates at Chino State Prison exercise in the yard. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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SACRAMENTO (KCBS) — Governor Jerry Brown is expected to sign a bill passed by the state Legislature Wednesday to help California comply with a federal court order to reduce its prison population.

The compromise plan between Brown and state Senate leader Darrell Steinberg includes asking a federal judge to extend the deadline for releasing 9,600 inmates by the end of the year as well as $315 million for expanding prison capacity.

But if the deadline to release prisoners is pushed back, some money would instead go to rehabilitation programs.

Governor Brown spoke in favor of the deal earlier this week.

“We’ll definitely comply with the court’s order regarding our prisons, but will do so opening up the possibility for a longer-term plan that will be more efficient and more balanced,” he said.

However, San Jose State Political Science Professor and KCBS Analyst Larry Gerston said the governor and California is “swallowing another $300 million hit” just as the state is beginning to get itself “upright”.

State Senators Noreen Evans of Santa Rosa and Loni Hancock of Berkeley opposed the deal because they object to expanding the use of private prisons and sending inmates involuntarily to other states.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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