Prison cap moves forward

State lawmakers pass bill to comply with court-ordered prison reduction

California lawmakers passed a compromise plan, Senate Bill 105, on Sept. 11 to comply with a federal court order to reduce the state-prison population by 9,600 inmates.

SB 105, developed by Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic lawmakers, asks for an unspecified extension to comply with the population cap, and will devote $400 million toward prisoner-rehabilitation efforts such as mental-health care, according to California Healthline. If federal judges reject the compromise, the state will automatically enforce Brown’s original plan, which would rely heavily on shifting inmates to privately owned facilities both in-state and out-of-state, and reopening city-owned detention centers.

In June, federal judges ordered Brown to release about 8 percent of the inmate population to remedy unconstitutionally poor inmate care.