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Brown, Legislative Leaders Reach Prisons Deal

California Governor Jerry Brown has announced a deal with Democratic and Republican legislative leaders that responds to the federal court order requiring the state to reduce overcrowding in its prisons.

California Governor Jerry Brown has announced a deal with Democratic and Republican legislative leaders that responds to the federal court order requiring the state to reduce overcrowding in its prisons.

Photo credit: Ben Adler, Capital Public Radio

Gov. Jerry Brown and California legislative leaders announce a prisons deal outside the governor's office at the State Capitol Monday.

“We can – in the next few years – find the reforms and changes that will make our system more balanced, more cost effective and more humane," Brown said. "We need some time. If the court doesn’t give us the time, then we will spend the hundreds of millions of dollars finding additional beds.”

Monday’s deal comes after a weekend full of talks with Democratic Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg. Steinberg had called for rehabilitation programs instead of adding capacity, as the governor and other leaders proposed.

Brown’s original proposal remains “Plan A.” But if the judges delay their end-of-year prison capacity deadline, any money saved would be directed to programs intended to reduce recidivism.

The legislature could vote on the deal as soon as Wednesday.

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