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L.A. Now Live: Is California's prison crisis over?

January 9, 2013 |  7:24 am

Gov. Jerry Brown declared California's prison crisis over on Tuesday and angrily demanded that control of the system be returned to the state.

Times reporter Paige St. John will join L.A. Now Live at 9 a.m. on Wednesday to discuss Brown's demands and the state of California's prison system. Questions can be submitted live during the chat.

Brown said it's time to end years of intervention by federal judges and expensive edicts designed to reduce crowding and improve inmate healthcare.

"At some point, the job's done," Brown said at a Capitol news conference before catching a plane for Los Angeles, where he repeated the message.

"We spent billions of dollars" complying with the court orders, the governor said. "It is now time to return control of our prison system to California." Brown's push came as the state was faced with a deadline to produce a plan to further shrink the number of inmates in its 33 prisons. Late Monday night, the administration unveiled its proposal — "under protest" — but also filed motions calling for an end to caps on the inmate population and judicial oversight of mental healthcare.

The state also planned to seek to end federal control over all forms of inmate healthcare, the governor said.

"We can't pour more and more dollars down the rat hole of incarceration," Brown said Tuesday.

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