California Gov. Jerry Brown is demanding the federal courts give up oversight of the state's prison system following a major release of inmates due to prisoner caps imposed by the Supreme Court.
According to the Los Angeles Times
, Brown declared Tuesday “the prison crisis is over in California” and demanded that federal courts return control to the state.
The California prison healthcare system has been under federal control since 2005, when U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson declared "extreme measures" were required because inadequate medical care, incompetence, and neglect had led to the death of at least one inmate per week.
After releasing a last minute proposal “under protest” Monday night to further reduce overcrowding in California’s 33 prisons, Brown suggested the courts needed to back off. “At some point, the job's done,” he said
Although the state has spent billions to comply with the court-imposed regulations, Brown said using scarce state funds further to “gold plate” the prison system was irresponsible.
“We can't pour more and more dollars down the rat hole of incarceration," he said, according to the Times.
Nevertheless, California is headed toward a showdown with the courts this summer, according to the Times, because the Brown administration appears unable to sufficiently reduce the prison population by the June deadline, which would require the state to release more than 7,000 inmates.
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