The California prison system will start an inmate early release program. This is in response to a Federal Court announcement that the California prisons reduce its inmate population by about 40,000 within a certain period of time. The court's main reason for the reduction was in response to overcrowding and the effect it had on inmate behavior and conditions. This issue came up as a result of prison violence. Recently a riot broke out in the Chino State Prison east of Orange County California, bringing in media and state regulator attention to the system. Those that defend the program explain that this would reduce the number of inmates in jail and also adjust the parolee numbers as well. According to the Sacramento Bee "low-risk offenders [would] earn credits on their prison sentences by completing rehabilitation and education programs." The idea is that the more serious offenders would still be locked away from the community while reducing the population inside and saving money. Opponents of this plan say that offenders are being released during a time of police officer lay offs and budget cuts, therefore creating a scenario for an increase in crime. This program may also reduce sentences at Parolee hearings.
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Here is an ABC News10 Video covering the early release.