Federal judges extend Gov. Brown’s prison crowding deadline -- again

<i>This post has been corrected, as indicated below.</i>

SACRAMENTO -- A panel of federal judges has given Gov. Jerry Brown an additional 28 days to come up with long-term solutions to the state’s prison crowding problems.

In an order issued Monday, the judges moved the deadline for California to remove about 9,600 inmates from state lockups to Feb. 24, adding almost a month to their last deadline of Jan. 27. It previously was Dec. 31.

They also ordered the state to continue negotiating for solutions with lawyers representing California’s 134,000 prisoners.


Monday was the deadline for a state appeals judge, Peter Siggins, who was assigned to mediate those confidential talks, to report on the two sides’ progress. Based on Siggins’ confidential update and recommendations, the federal panel ordered the negotiations to continue, with another update due Nov. 18, the jurists said in their signed order.

The judges extended their first deadline and ordered the discussions after Brown asked them last month for three more years in which to reduce inmate numbers.

He and the Legislature had to come up with a plan to fund rehabilitation services, hoping to lower the odds that offenders will commit more crimes and end up back in prison after they return to society.

After dramatic declines two years ago, when the Brown administration ordered thousands of felons to be confined in county jails rather than sent to state prisons, California’s inmate population is again climbing.

An Oct. 16 report by corrections officials puts the number of prisoners in the state’s lockups and prison camps at 125,000, an increase of more than 700 from a year ago.

[For the Record, 1:50 p.m. PDT Oct. 21: An earlier version of this post identified Peter Siggins as a federal judge. He is a state appellate judge.]


[For the Record, 2:25 p.m. PDT Oct. 22: An earlier version of this post said an Oct. 16 report by corrections officials listed the number of prisoners in the state’s 34 lockups as 125,000, an increase of more than 700 from a year ago. Those figures include prisoner populations in the state’s lockups as well as prison camps.]

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