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Judges Tentatively Order Calif. Inmates Released

A special panel of federal judges has tentatively ruled that California must release tens of thousands of inmates to relieve overcrowding.

The judges say no other solution will improve conditions so poor that inmates die regularly of suicides or lack of proper care.

They say the state can cut the population of its 33 adult prisons through changes in parole and other policies without endangering public safety.

The three judges said a final population figure would be set later.

In Monday's tentative ruling, the judges said they want the state to present a plan to trim the prison population in two to three years.

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