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Court Grants Two Year Extension in Prison Overcrowding Case

Katie Orr, Capital Public Radio

Inmates on the general population yard at Pelican Bay State Prison.

Katie Orr, Capital Public Radio

California now has until the end of February of 2016 to reduce overcrowding in its prisons. But the court set several reduction benchmarks before then.

It also will appoint a compliance officer to make sure the state is meeting those mandates.

Attorney Michael Bien represents inmates involved in the court case.

He says that officer will have the power to release inmates if the state misses deadlines.

“The court is sending a message that there will be no more delays. There will be no more extensions, this is it, don’t come back, "says Bien. "And I think the court is hoping that the state will now come into compliance but again we are concerned with the amount of time it’s going to take.”

The three judge panel said it was reluctant to issue the extension of the order originally issued in 2009.

Governor Brown said in a statement that state now has the time and resources needed to help inmates become “productive members of society” and “make our communities safer.”


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