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Government & Politics

New California Prison Plan 'Best of the Bad Options'

CA Dept of Corrections

“The best of the bad options”. That’s how the Department of Corrections is characterizing its plan to reduce prison overcrowding in California. Katie Orr reports from Sacramento.

More inmates will be sent to lower security fire camps, some elderly and sick prisoners will be paroled early, additional beds will be leased from county jails. Those are among the measures California is proposing to further reduce prison overcrowding.

A federal three-judge-panel ordered the state to produce a plan or face a contempt of court citation. Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Secretary Jeff Beard says the plan is ugly, but it’s the best the state can do.

“We can’t do any more without creating huge problems for the counties, without creating huge problems for this historic realignment that occurred and without creating huge problems for the public safety and we just won’t do that,” says Beard. 

Beard says the plan was submitted under protest because the state believes it’s already done enough to reduce overcrowding.