In the state's monthly progress report to federal judges, California acknowledges prison crowding has again begun to creep upward while Gov. Jerry Brown promises to seek legislative solutions "shortly."
The state's 33 prisons are now at more than 150% capacity, according to Monday's report to the U.S. District courts. Three prisons -- North Kern, the Central California Women's Facility, and Wasco -- are at or near 175% crowding.
Brown's lawyers note the state has reduced its inmate population by more than 24,000 inmates since October 2011, when California began requiring low-level felons and parole violators to serve their sentences in county jails.
The state notes that its budget includes $15 million to continue to house 3,800 inmates in fire-fighting camps. For the second month in a row, Brown's lawyers say the governor is "drafting legislative language" to take other steps to reduce crowding, including to keep more inmates in private prisons out of state, lease beds from county jails, and allow inmates who are elderly, medically frail or model prisoners to be released earlier.