For the second time in two years, Orange County Sheriff Brad Gates was found in contempt of court because of jail overcrowding. Santa Ana Central Municipal Judge Gary P. Ryan ruled that Gates' practice of citing suspects instead of jailing them was not acceptable, despite Gates' argument that such a policy was necessary to meet the requirements of a federal court order designed to alleviate overcrowding at the county's main men's jail. The federal order limits the number of prisoners housed at the main jail to 1,296. In issuing his ruling, however, Ryan said six specific prisoners were cited and released in March, although jail beds were available in other county detention facilities. Ryan delayed sentencing Gates until June 1 to allow the sheriff time to modify the release program.