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California Prison Crowding Deadline Extended 1 Month

SACRAMENTO — Federal judges are giving California an additional month to reduce its prison population, as negotiations continue over a longer-term delay.

The judges said in a one-paragraph order Monday that a court-appointed mediator needs more time to seek agreement on how the state should reduce inmate crowding.

Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers want a three-year delay to give proposed rehabilitation programs time to work. Under a new state law, the alternative is to spend $315 million this fiscal year to house thousands of inmates in private prisons and county jails.

The judges pushed back the deadline until late February for meeting an earlier population-reduction goal.

The court ordered the mediator to provide a mid-November update to say if negotiations are still productive.

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