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Federal Judges Give State Two More Years To Cut Prison Population

Publication Date: 
February 10, 2014
KQED - News Fix
Dan Brekke

Professor Robert Weisberg is quoted on the importance of accountability as California seeks to reduce prison overcrowding for KQED.

A three-judge federal court panel has granted the state of California two more years to meet its order to reduce prison overcrowding.

In a six-page order issued Monday morning, U.S. District Court judges Thelton Henderson of San Francisco, Lawrence Karlton of Sacramento and Stephen Reinhardt of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals gave the state until Feb. 28, 2016, to comply with a 2013 order for “durable” long-term reductions in its inmate population.


“There’s a fair amount of of mistrust,” says Robert Weisberg co-director of Stanford’s Criminal Justice Center, “So inserting a court official into the system with the power to demand accountability on an almost week-by-week or month-by-month basis was very crucial to the compromise.”


Weisberg considers the order to be a victory for the plaintiffs though.

“I think it’s a significant victory in some ways for the plaintiffs, even if they don’t acknowledge it, because this is the first order which really directs the state to take a hard look at some measures it hadn’t looked at before, especially changes in parole policy,” Weisberg says.