SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration responded Tuesday to a U.S. Supreme Court order to quickly slash California’s prison population, saying the governor’s stalled plan to shift thousands of inmates from state prisons to local jails will eventually address the overcrowding problem.

The administration acknowledged in its response to the high court that it might not meet the court’s initial goal of cutting the prison population by more than 10,000 inmates by the end of November. But it did not request a delay.

“What we’ve said is we’re going to move forward with this plan and we’ll ask for more time if we need it,” Corrections Secretary Matthew Cate said at a news conference.

The latest count shows California’s 33 prisons housing 143,565 inmates in space designed for fewer than 80,000, meaning the prisons are at 180 percent of their design capacity.

In an order late last month, the Supreme Court gave California two years to remove more than 33,000 inmates after the justices ruled easing congestion is the only way to improve unconstitutionally poor inmate medical care.

The administration’s response outlined all the steps the state has taken in recent years to reduce its prison population, including sending about 10,000 inmates to other states. But its compliance with the recent order hinges almost entirely on plans that Brown signed into law earlier this year to shift responsibility for thousands of lower-level inmates to counties.

The shift cannot take effect unless local governments get the money to provide jail cells and rehabilitation services, and funding for that remains stalled in the state Legislature. Republican lawmakers have blocked Brown’s proposal for an extension of temporary tax increases that are set to expire by the end of the month.

Renewing the recent increases in the vehicle, sales and personal income taxes is essential to funding Brown’s plan to shift low-level offenders to county jurisdiction.

The Supreme Court had indicated that it might consider a request for a delay in its order, which includes benchmarks in reducing overcrowding along the way, but Cate said it was too soon for that.

“It would be irresponsible to say we’re going to do nothing, go back to the same three judges and cross our fingers,” Cate said.

Nick Warner, legislative director of the California State Sheriffs’ Association, said he hadn’t seen the state’s response to the court and could not immediately comment.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (24)
  1. eye for an eye says:

    Lets start the reduction by executing all those on death row this week.

    1. jm says:

      why not start today?

  2. seriously? says:

    Lets start the reduction by deporting the thousands of illegal aliens back to their home country, that would free up at least 20,000

    1. Sheila Volek says:

      Agree…but the excuse will be that they will come back….!!!!so that would be a nother good reason to FINALLY secure our borders…..mandatory use of the E file system for identification

  3. mv says:

    there are a lot of non violent offenders in our jails rite now.
    marijuana offenses ECT let the non violent one’s go.

  4. marcel says:

    Marijuana offenders are violent, it’s a crime and should stay that way, criminals on death roll should be executed, every crime that had been done should be payed for . No criminal should get out just because they don’t have the con forte they want !

    1. Marty says:

      We arrest people for trivial reasons. And we can’t carry out mass executions. That’s what the Germans did. It would be a violation of the Geneva Conventions. And people need to stop overreacting when someone is arrested for a minuscule amount of pot. There are far worse things to arrest a person for.

      If I was selling products made of hemp, I would get arrested even though I wasn’t doing anything wrong. In 75 years, people are so closed minded that they can’t separate industrial hemp from narcotic marijuana. If we started making products out of hemp, we could get our economy out of the toilet.

    2. Babsbo says:

      A person obviously speaking here who has no experience or education about the matter.

      1. Babsbo says:

        Referring to marcel of course.

      2. Marty says:

        There are crimes that people do need to be arrested for. Murder. Rape. Armed robbery. Arresting people for possession of a small amount of marijuana isn’t one of them. If we’re going to arrest people for consuming harmful substances, then why don’t we arrest people smoking a cigarette, chewing tobacco, drinking alcohol or eating fast food?

  5. Jim says:

    Send them to Attu Island, Alaska or some remote island.

  6. Kate C. says:

    The problem with shifting prisoners to local jails is that the state isn’t planning on paying for it. The local counties and cities who are forced to take those prisoners will have to pay all the costs of keeping them. Local jails are filled as well and sending more prisoners to local jails won’t fix the problem. How are local governments suppose to pay for the extra prisoners? All this means is more money from taxpayers and it still doesn’t solve the problem. Way to go Jerry Brown.

  7. scopedope says:

    Hey Moonbeam, start with the 700+ on death row! wheel out the gurney, start executing them. Taxpayers don’t want to feed them forever!

  8. Mace says:


  9. mr magoo says:

    way to go jerry brown. Let’s just keep paying for and giving benefits to illegal aliens while we let the criminals out of jail. You are such a smart individual that it makes me puke.

  10. johnmunyer says:

    Hell of it is,the local jails are full also….too much police in the police state?Free marijuana prisoners,forgers and prostitutes….replace them with the POLITICIANS !

  11. Ken Z says:

    Politicains are ruining this state!!!

    They should be in jail as far as I am concerned.
    Stealing my tax money is just as bad as the bums in jail.

    I agree with deporintg all the illegals that are thrownin jail & charging Mexican govt for the cost..Volumne is evident of a failed country & nationality…
    Are there any politicians listening???

  12. Marty B Goode says:

    Take a look at the picture that accompanies this article. I mean really look at it. Look closer. See what I see. Alot of the criminals in this picture look like African Americans and Mexicans! The camera doesn’t lie…

    1. rick says:

      Mostly Latinos..SHOCKING!!!

  13. grayce says:

    Lets keep on asking our Gov. Brown about the dream act -he is going to sign giving money to those who are not in this country legally. Even the native SF locals can’t afford tution for their children. Common Sense is needed when handling the inmate population which don’t include the voting block.

  14. B-Safe says:

    yeeeeeee haaaaaaaaaaaa,
    let the good times roll.
    hey Jerry, why not just let them all out?
    you know the ones that aren’t released will just sue the state for discrimination.
    and your liberal justices will side against the state, in favor of the criminals.

    welcome back to the “wild wild west”.
    oh, and be sure to ask them if they would like to chip-in on the budget deficit.

  15. Mr. Clean says:

    start with hanging the niggs and illegal mexes

  16. phill says:

    Well I guess we can’t expect just our lousy gov. to fix this state or our politicians. its time for those of us with some balls left to take this country back by force….revolution time…

    1. trj says:

      Americas founding fathers were labeled traitors and criminals by the British government and would have been put to death if they had of lost the revolution. TODAY Americans call them heroes. A lot of Americans have today become comfortable with all the injustices happening such as illegal aliens, unfair business practices, job loss and complain but feel they can do nothing because that is “The way things are”. But you really have to ask yourselves where would WE be today if our founding fathers had just of accepted things because “That was the way they were”?

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