Since the realignment plan took effect on Oct. 1, the state prison inmate population has dropped by an average of 933 inmates per week, without the early release of any state prison inmates. Still, with a current state inmate population of 134,804, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) fell just short of meeting its first court-mandated target –133,000 inmates by Dec. 27.
In May 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the Three-Judge Court order requiring California to reduce the number of inmates in its 33 adult prisons by approximately 33,000 and reach established benchmarks at six-month intervals.
Under the Three-Judge Court’s prisoner-reduction order, the inmate population in California’s 33 prisons must not be no more than:
- 167 percent of designed capacity, or 133,000, by Dec. 27, 2011,
- 155 percent of designed capacity by June 27, 2012,
- 147 percent by December 27, 2012, and
- 137.5 percent by June 27, 2013
Today is the first benchmark date set by the court, but CDCR has until January 10, 2012 to calculate and file an updated population report.
As of December 14, the state’s prisons were at 169.2 percent designed capacity or 134,804 inmates. Locally, the California State Prison in Lancaster reported a population of 3,955, representing 172 percent of the prison’s 2,300 inmate capacity as of Dec. 21.
Designed capacity is the number of inmates a prison can house based on one inmate per cell, single-level bunks in dormitories, and no beds in places not designed for housing. Current design capacity in CDCR’s 33 institutions is 79,858.
Copies of monthly status reports and other information are on CDCR’s Three-Judge Court update website here. CDCR also has created a graph on the website tracking the inmate population.
Actions CDCR has taken to reduce overcrowding can be found here.