SACRAMENTO -- State corrections officials had no immediate comment Thursday after a panel of federal judges ordered Gov. Jerry Brown to begin releasing inmates from the state's crowded prisons.
"We just received the judges' 51-page order and are reviewing it now," said Deborah Hoffman, spokeswoman for California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
At his state Senate confirmation hearing the day before, prisons chief Jeffrey Beard made only a passing reference to the court's looming demand for action. "We have a plan," he said.
Advocates for inmates were quick to respond.
"The current order gives the state all the tools it needs to reduce the prison population to constitutional levels, and also leaves the ultimate decision on how to do that to the governor," said Don Specter, lead attorney for the Prison Law Office, which brought the original 1990 litigation over prison conditions that sparked the judges' order.