Governor signs bill to address prison court order

Legal Insight Posted on

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law a compromise bill intended to ease the state's prison crowding crisis by asking federal judges to delay their year-end deadline for releasing thousands of inmates.

Brown announced his signing of SB105 without ceremony Thursday, a day after it was approved nearly unanimously by state lawmakers.

It authorizes the administration to spend a projected $315 million to lease cells in private prisons and county jails. Yet part of the money would instead go to rehabilitation programs if the court agrees to extend its deadline for reducing the prison population by about 9,600 inmates.

Brown and legislative leaders say they are hopeful, but there is no guarantee the court will agree. Inmates' attorneys say the proposal is vague and carries no guarantees of success.

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