Calif. mulls speeding up inmate releases

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - California Corrections Secretary Jeffrey Beard says they don't like it, but the state will speed up the release of some inmates to cut crowding in state prisons.

Beard calls the plan "ugly" but says it's "the best plan we can come up with."

He says some of the options could undermine public safety, and said the state plans to appeal in an attempt to avoid going through with the measures.

Gov. Jerry Brown's plan, announced Thursday night, calls for increasing early release credits for inmates and paroling elderly and incapacitated prisoners, while slowing the return of thousands of inmates who are being held in private prisons in other states.

Federal courts required the state to outline by midnight Thursday how it intends to meet a court-ordered population cap by the end of the year.

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