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Supreme Court won't block early release of state inmates

  • FILE - In this undated file photo released by the California Department of Corrections, inmates sit in crowded conditions at California State Prison in Los Angeles. The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday, Aug. 2, 2013 paved the way for the early release of nearly 10,000 prisoners by year's end despite warnings by Gov. Jerry Brown and other state officials that a public safety crisis looms if they're forced to open the prison gates. (AP Photo/California Department of Corrections, File)

SAN FRANCISCO — Despite warnings from California officials, the nation's highest court is refusing to delay the early release of nearly 10,000 California inmates by year's end to ease overcrowding at 33 adult prisons.

In its decision Friday, the Supreme Court dismissed an emergency request by the Gov. Jerry Brown to halt a lower court's directive for the early release.

Law enforcement officials expressed concern about the ruling.

The justices ignored efforts already under way to reduce prison populations and "chose instead to allow for the release of more felons into already overburdened communities," said Covina Police Chief Kim Raney, president of the California Police Chiefs Association.

Brown's office referred a request for comment to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, where Secretary Jeff Beard vowed that the state would press on with a still-pending appeal in hope of preventing the releases.


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