California drops plan to let violent inmates fight fires

Oct 13, 2015 8:42 PM by News Staff

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California corrections officials are dropping a proposal to allow prisoners with violent backgrounds to work in the state's inmate firefighting unit, a day after The Associated Press reported on the proposal.

Corrections department spokesman Jeffrey Callison tells the AP Tuesday that the state still plans to expand the program to include inmates who have up to seven years left to serve on their sentences, instead of the current five years.

The union representing state firefighters was among the groups that raised public safety concerns over including inmates convicted of violent crimes.

Callison says the department continues to search for ways to increase the pool of potential firefighters. The number has been falling in recent years because lower-level offenders are being sent to county jails instead of state prisons.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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