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Brown takes prison message on the road

January 8, 2013 |  2:58 pm

Gov. Jerry Brown took his campaign against federal oversight of prisons on the road Tuesday, telling reporters in Los Angeles that further reductions in incarceration would risk public safety.

“We already have reduced our prisons 43,000.” Brown said. “There’s no doubt that if you let people out of prison you increase the potential of crime.”

The governor's remarks come on the heels of court motions filed late Monday to drop population caps intended to improve medical care.

“Most people going to prisons get the best healthcare they’ll ever get,” Brown said, repeating much the same message he delivered earlier in the day to a Sacramento news conference.

"We are spending, not the $300 million we spent four or five years ago but, $2 billion, and that money is coming out of our schools, out of our child care and out of our scholarships for college. Enough already.”

It is up to a panel of three 9th Circuit Court of Appeals judges to determine whether or not California prisons meet their constitutional requirements for providing quality medical care. If, however, the judges do not accept Brown’s case that prisons are no longer overcrowded, he said he will appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.  

In answer to other questions, Brown said he has completed treatment for prostate cancer. "I’m ready to go," he said. "You’re going to have me around to kick for a long time.”  

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-- Wesley Lowery in Los Angeles

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