California’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation says the smaller population means they can cancel a $4 billion construction program lawmakers approved in 2007 called AB 900.
Officials plan to save another $1.5 billion a year by shutting down the old and costly California Rehabilitation Center and canceling contracts with private prisons in other states, where nearly 10,000 inmates are currently serving sentences. A few years ago, California began transferring inmates out of state to reduce crowding to be able to comply with a federal court order to improve inmate’s medical and mental healthcare.
In 2009 a trio of federal judge found that crowding in California prisons were the main reason inmates could not get adequate care. They ordered California to ease the congestion by either reducing the number of inmates by 40,000 or expanding the prisons.
CDCR now says it won’t meet June 2013 deadline for completing the task. Officials plan to ask the court to allow the state to hold on to an extra six thousand inmates.
Attorney Don Spector with the Prison Law Office says he plan to file a motion to compel meet the goal of 44,000 thousand fewer inmates in California.