December 13, 2010 10:57 am Published by

Lawyers for the state appealed to a ruling of a panel of federal judges that the overcrowding in California prisons constituted a violation of the Eighth Amendment’s protection against cruel and unusual punishment. The judges ordered California to release 40,000 inmates over two years. But Lawyers for the state argue that releasing so many prisoners would put Californians at risk, because there isn’t currently enough money for the rehabilitation programs that released inmates would need.

The lawyers for the prisoners argue that California’s prisons are housing twice as many prisoners as they were built to contain, risking the safety of prisoners, guards, and prison personnel. Donald Specter of the Prison Law Office says “prisoners are dying unnecessarily at the alarming rate of one every eight days because they do not receive basic medical care from the state.

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