State Assembly, Senate passes bill to avoid early inmate release

Bill now goes to Gov. Brown's desk

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Legislature has approved a compromise plan to deal with California's prison crisis by passing a bill asking federal judges to extend the deadline for releasing thousands of inmates.

The proposal passed the Assembly and Senate on Wednesday, a day before the end of this year's legislative session.

It includes Gov. Jerry Brown's original plan to lease cells in private prisons and county jails if the court sticks to its year-end deadline for reducing the prison population by about 9,600 inmates.

If the judges grant the extension, part of the $315 million that would be spent to rent the cells will go instead to pay for rehabilitation programs. Attorneys representing inmates in the long-running federal court case have said the legislation is too vague.

The Senate approved SB105 on a 35-2 vote, hours after the Assembly passed it 75-0. It now heads to Brown for his signature.

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