Prisons

Feds Order Calif. to Start Releasing Prisoners Early

Under court orders to reduce overcrowding

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California Governor Jerry Brown's plan to reduce the state prison population doesn't comply with a federal court order and the state must expand a program to release some inmates early, three federal judges ordered.

The state must take additional measures including the expansion of good-time credits to satisfy the requirements of the earlier ruling, U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson in San Francisco and two other judges said in today's order.

"We order defendants to immediately take all steps necessary to implement the measures in" an amended plan "notwithstanding any state or local laws or regulations to the contrary," the panel ruled.

Failure to take such steps or to report on such steps every two weeks shall constitute an act of contempt, the judges said.