Prisons

California Trial Ending
6:58 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Prison Pepper Spray Use Under Debate

Credit Ardiart/Wikimedia

Attorneys for California, and those representing prison inmates, are presenting a federal judge with starkly different views of prison guards' use of pepper spray against the mentally ill.

At issue in the trial that ended yesterday is whether guards' heavy use of pepper spray against some mentally ill inmates violates prisoners' civil rights.

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Another Month Granted
6:17 am
Tue October 22, 2013

California Gets Reprieve On Prison Reduction

California has been granted an additional month to reduce its prison population, as negotiations continue on a longer-term delay.

Federal judges issue a one-paragraph ruling yesterday saying that a court-appointed mediator needs more time to seek agreement on how the state should reduce inmate crowding.

Governor Jerry Brown and state lawmakers want a three-year delay to give proposed rehabilitation programs time to work. Under a new state law, the alternative is to spend $315 million this fiscal year to house thousands of inmates in private prisons and county jails.

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State May Have To Release Inmates
7:31 am
Tue October 15, 2013

California Loses Supreme Court Prison Ruling

The Supreme Court has rejected California's appeal of a lower-court order that could force the state to release thousands of California prison inmates before they complete their sentences.

The justices did not comment on their order yesterday, which leaves in place the earlier ruling by a panel of three federal judges requiring California to reduce its prison population by an additional 9,600 inmates to improve conditions.

California Governor Jerry Brown has argued that the state cannot meet that goal without releasing dangerous felons and jeopardizing public safety.

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Strike Focused Attention On Issue
6:33 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Prison Security Housing Units Get Hearing

Democratic lawmakers on key policy committees say they want to limit California's practice of keeping hundreds of inmates in solitary confinement for years, sometimes decades, as a way of controlling violent prison gangs.

They held the first in a planned series of hearings Wednesday in response to an inmate hunger strike this summer that at one point involved more than 30,000 of the 133,000 inmates in state prisons.

The inmates were protesting conditions for gang leaders held in isolation at Pelican Bay and three other prisons.

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California Buys Some Time
6:56 am
Wed September 25, 2013

A Reprieve Granted for California Prison Overcrowding

California prison, Los Angeles, 2006.
Credit California DCR

California has a few more weeks to find a solution to its prison overcrowding. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled state officials have until the end of January to comply with the court order to reduce prison overcrowding. The state had been facing a deadline of December 31st.

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