A special panel of three federal judges ordered the State of California to release more than 50,000 inmates because of the overcrowding and medical issues in the state’s 33 prisons.
Those 33 prisons were designed for 84,000 inmates. They now hold 158,000. However, state leaders say they will appeal the decision because it is a safety issue for communities across California.
“We believe it poses significant threat to public safety,” said Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Secretary Matthew Cate.
According to some Coachella Valley residents, if the ruling stands, prisoners from the state prison in Blythe might see the Desert as a place to start over.
“The first thing that comes to mind:’Dowe really need more people out there starting trouble?'” wondered local resident Cecilia Aviles. “I have three little kids and just keeping them from that stuff and just going to the store…”
Meanwhile, California leaders are vowing to appeal any final decision that calls for the release of inmates because of prison conditions. The special panel of federal judges that made the decision say they will hold more hearings before making the decision final.