Supreme Court upholds California prison release order

Reuters News
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Posted: May 23, 2011 10:13 AM
Supreme Court upholds California prison release order

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Supreme Court upheld on Monday an order that California reduce its overcrowded prisons by some 40,000 inmates to fix longtime problems with inadequate medical and mental health care.

By a 5-4 vote, the justices rejected California's appeal and upheld a federal lower-court order that required the nation's largest state prison system to sharply cut its inmate population in stages over two years.

The court-mandated population limit is necessary to remedy the violation of prisoners' constitutional rights, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the Supreme Court majority.

(Reporting by James Vicini; Editing by Philip Barbara)