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Study Shows High-Risk Inmate Move Can Be Done Safely

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — University of California experts say the state can safely house some maximum-security inmates in lower-level prisons, a development that could save taxpayers money.

The 18-month study by five criminology experts, obtained by The Associated Press on Thursday, comes as a new state law sends thousands of lower-level offenders to local jails instead of state prisons.

The shift leaves state prisons housing the most violent, serious or sex offenders.

Corrections Secretary Matthew Cate tells the AP that California may need to build fewer maximum-security prisons if more high-risk offenders can be safely moved to medium- or minimum-security prisons that will soon have extra space.

Without changes, the nonpartisan legislative analyst says the state will eventually be short nearly 13,000 high-security beds.

Cate says the department is evaluating the experts’ recommendations.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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