The inmate population in the state prison system has reached its lowest level in 17 years, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
The drop in the state prison population is due largely to the implementation of Assembly Bill 109, the state's prison realignment plan aimed at reducing the prison population, officials said.
On the eve of the bill's inception on Oct. 1, 2011, the state's inmate population was 160,295, or at more than double what the system was designed to hold. That number has dropped more than 17 percent to its current level of 132,618, putting it at 155 percent of design capacity, according to the CDCR. In 1995, the total prison population was 127,462.
"The whole purpose of realignment was to reserve state prison for inmates that have committed the most serious crimes and are serving the longest sentences," said Bill Sessa, a spokesman for the CDCR.
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