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Status Report: Reducing Prison Overcrowding in California

NCJ Number
Paul Golaszewski
Date Published
August 2011
12 pages
This study analyzes a plan to reduce prison overcrowding in California within 2 years.
On May 23, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling in a lawsuit against California involving prison overcrowding. Specifically, the court upheld the ruling of a Federal three-judge panel requiring the State to reduce overcrowding in its prisons to 137.5 percent of its "design capacity" within 2 years. Findings suggest that in order to reduce the prison population realignment should be implemented. This realignment would require the Legislature to encourage the administration to request additional time from the court to comply with its mandate to reduce overcrowding in California's prisons; direct the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) by statute to report on the justification of each prison construction project that it now proposes (including projects that have already been approved) in light of the inmate population reductions that will occur because of the three-judge panel ruling and the enactment of the realignment plan, and put on hold any entering into contracts on this project until the Legislature received and reviewed the report in January; and change State law to authorize CDCR to continue to transfer prison inmates involuntarily to out-of-State contract beds at least until the court's requirements are met. 1 figure