Gov. Jerry Brown wants to end a 6-year-old program that has sent thousands of California inmates to private prisons in other states, although he may not get the chance unless he can persuade federal judges to revise an order limiting the number of inmates the state can hold.
The governor's office must submit a plan to the federal court by midnight Monday outlining howCalifornia will meet the court's inmate population cap by the end of the year. Continuing the out-of-state contracts is among the easiest ways for the state to comply, but that option is opposed by Brown's administration and by attorneys representing inmates.
The courts imposed the inmate cap to force California to improve medical and mental health care for its prisoners, a decision that has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. Brown wants to return the nearly 9,000 inmates to California over the next four years, a step his administration said would save the state roughly $300 million annually.
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