The Supreme Court on Friday refused to delay a court order for California to release nearly 10,000 inmates by year’s end to improve conditions in state prisons. The majority of the court justices refused to accept arguments form California Governor Jerry Brown that releasing 10,000 prison inmates would overwhelm the police and endanger public safety.
Supreme Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas said they would have granted the state’s request to delay the release.
Two years ago the Supreme Court Ordered that California must reduce its prison inmate population because overcrowding created unconstitutional prison conditions.
California has made significant improvements since then and moved many prisoners to county jails. The state does not need to release any inmates. Releasing another 10,000 inmates, it says, will involve violent criminals and overwhelm the abilities of local law enforcement.