California’s overcrowded jail dilemma will be on the docket of the highest court in the land come October.
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal of the state court’s ruling that the state’s prison population be reduced by 40 thousand inmates within two years. In the appeal, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger questioned whether the state’s court considered potential adverse impact on public safety and the operation of the state’s criminal justice system.
Schwarzenegger also made prisons a budget issue in the latest revise, calling for the release of 37,000 inmates or reassignment to local correction facilities. It is not known if this move by the high court rescinds that recommendation.
The state court ruled for the inmates after observing what they termed “inadequate medical and mental health care.” By reducing the jail population, the court reasoned that resources could be better used in a workable ratio.
California’s prison system is the largest in the United States and one of the largest in the world. Built to hold 80,000 inmates, it is currently housing 165,000 inmates.
The justices will take up the case when they convene in October.