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California prison crowding plan still falls short

California’s plan to reduce prison crowding still falls 2,300 inmates short of complying with a federal court order, increasing the likelihood that the state will be forced to release more dangerous convicts before they complete their full sentences this year.

The judges are giving the state until late July to develop a list of candidates for early release, but corrections officials say that would mean freeing serious and violent offenders.

The shortfall disclosed by prison officials yesterday also raises the possibility that Gov. Jerry Brown could be cited for contempt for failing to meet the court’s requirements.

Corrections Secretary Jeffrey Beard said about 90 percent of the state’s plan involves increasing capacity. But the state also proposes to increase early release credits for nonviolent inmates and parole elderly felons.

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