US News
2:57 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Brown challenges court oversight of Calif prisons

California Gov. Jerry Brown
California Gov. Jerry Brown

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown says reducing California's inmate population further to meet a federal order will endanger public safety and require the state to ignore its own sentencing laws.

After years of implementing changes, California would have to grant shorter sentences to inmates convicted of violent or serious felonies to meet the court's mandate.

Brown spoke to reporters Tuesday, hours after the state met a deadline to file a prison-management plan with federal courts.

His administration says the conditions that led to the court oversight — extremely poor medical and mental health care for inmates — have been solved and prisoners now receive care exceeding constitutional levels.

Brown also called for restoring the state's authority over its prison system and vowed to that battle to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.