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Supreme Court Refuses Delay in Calif. Prisoner Release

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
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Updated: 8/02/2013 3:40 pm
 WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court has refused to delay a court order for California to release nearly 10,000 inmates by year's end to improve conditions in state prisons.
 
      The court voted 6-3 Friday to reject a plea from Gov. Jerry Brown. Brown argued the early release would jeopardize public safety.
 
      Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas said they would have granted the state's request.
 
      The court ruled 5-4 in 2011 that the state must cut its inmate population to deal with unconstitutional prison conditions caused by overcrowding.
 
      State officials said conditions have improved dramatically since a lower court order in 2009.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California's prison chief has agreed to meet with advocates for inmates who are on a hunger strike to protest the state's solitary confinement program.
 
      Corrections Secretary Jeffrey Beard will meet Friday afternoon with members of a coalition supporting more than 300 inmates who have refused all meals since July 8.
 
      The protesters are demanding an end to indeterminate sentences in isolation units. They also want alternative ways to leave the units.
 
      Corrections spokesman Jeffrey Callison says Beard will explain the changes California has already made to the confinement program. They include allowing some inmates out of the units without having to inform on other inmates.
 
      Isaac Ontiveros of the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition says the group wants direct negotiations between prison officials and inmates.

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