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Politics & Government

California Gets Reprieve On Prison Reduction

California has been granted an additional month to reduce its prison population, as negotiations continue on a longer-term delay.

Federal judges issue a one-paragraph ruling yesterday saying that a court-appointed mediator needs more time to seek agreement on how the state should reduce inmate crowding.

Governor Jerry Brown and state lawmakers want a three-year delay to give proposed rehabilitation programs time to work. Under a new state law, the alternative is to spend $315 million this fiscal year to house thousands of inmates in private prisons and county jails.

The judges pushed back the deadline until late February for meeting an earlier population-reduction goal.

The court ordered the mediator to provide a mid-November update to say if negotiations are still productive.