Feb 10, 2014 7:51 PM
A federal court order issued Monday requires California to meet a prison population cap by February 2016, with interim deadlines along the way. The state's 33 adult prisons and a new medical facility in Stockton were designed to hold a combined 81,574 inmates. They currently house about 117,500, or 144 percent of their designed capacity.
Under the court's order:
— The state must reduce the population to 143 percent of design capacity by June 30 and to 141.5 percent of capacity by Feb. 28, 2015.
— It must reduce the population to 137.5 percent of designed capacity, or 112,164 inmates, by Feb. 28, 2016.
— If the state fails to meet the interim or final caps, a court-appointed compliance officer will release inmates based on their perceived risk to public safety and other factors.
Among steps the state will take to meet the cap:
— Increase good-time credits for nonviolent second-strike offenders, resulting in the earlier release of a projected 1,400 inmates by February 2016. Second-strikers previously could earn up to 20 percent off their sentences, but in the future could be released after serving two-thirds of their sentences.
— Release about 350 nonviolent second-strikers by making them eligible for parole after they served half their sentences.
— Free about 65 inmates who already have been granted parole by the Board of Parole Hearings but whose actual release dates are sometime in the future.
— Add about 80 women to an alternative custody program for female inmates.
— Parole about 100 medically incapacitated inmates by expanding an existing medical parole program that during the last three years has allowed for the parole of 56 inmates.
— Speed up parole for about 165 offenders who are serving lengthy sentences for crimes they committed as minors.
— Parole a projected 85 inmates age 60 or older who have served at least 25 years in prison.
— Expand a Stockton medical facility to house about 1,100 mentally ill inmates.
— Continue housing about 8,900 inmates in private prisons in other states.
— House about 3,500 inmates in private prisons within California.
— Build cells for about 2,400 inmates at two existing prisons.
— Reopen the 600-bed Northern California Re-entry Facility in Stockton.
— House about 2,400 inmates in a former private prison at California City, between Bakersfield and Barstow.
— House about 300 inmates in county jails through contracts for surplus jail space.
— House about 500 inmates in new community re-entry centers.
— Consider additional changes to reduce the population, including the possible establishment of a commission to recommend changes to sentencing laws.
Population reduction estimates by state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Department of Finance.
©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
14 hours ago