A federal judge said Wednesday that he will consider whether California’s policy of locking up prisoners by race violates the constitutional rights of the roughly 125,000 male inmates within the state prison system.
A panel of federal judges has extended California’s deadline to cut its prison population to about 110,000 inmates until April 18, 2014.
The governor is still facing the federal mandate to reduce the population in state prisons, something he continues to fight.
California prison officials said Wednesday that they will change the rules for using pepper spray on mentally ill inmates, as a federal judge considers whether current practices violate inmates’ civil rights.
The judges said in a one-paragraph order, without comment, that a court-appointed mediator needs more time to seek agreement on how the state should reduce inmate crowding.
The U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday rejected an appeal by Gov. Jerry Brown of a court order that requires the state to reduce the population of its overcrowded prisons by about 8,000 inmates by Jan. 27.
A federal lawsuit is moving forward in the latest legal turn over solitary confinement at a California prison with attorneys asking a U.S. District judge to expand to a class-action case.
Gov. Brown is expected to sign a bill passed by the state Legislature to help California comply with a federal court order to reduce its prison population, but some legislators oppose it saying it expands private prisons and involuntarily sends some inmates out of state.
Supporters of a California ballot measure that softened the nation’s toughest three-strikes law say some 1,000 prisoners have had their life terms significantly reduced and are out of prison.
Supporters of a California ballot measure that softened the nation’s toughest three-strikes law say some 1,000 prisoners have had their life terms significantly reduced and have been released from prison.