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Court orders California prison population to be reduced by 9,600 inmates

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An inmate is escorted from the new mental health treatment unit at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, Calif., Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013.  The  $24 million treatment center for mentally ill inmates opened on Thursday as state corrections officials used the occasion to push for ending federal oversight of that aspect of prison operations. The 44,000-square-foot building includes rooms where inmates will undergo individual, group and recreational outpatient therapy. It will be used to treat inmates who are seriously mentally ill but are able to function without around-the-clock care.
Rich Pedroncelli/AP
An inmate is escorted from the new mental health treatment unit at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, Calif., Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013.

California will have to immediately release 9,600 inmates to comply with a court order issued four years ago. Prison overcrowding has left inmates without adequate dental and mental health care.

California will have to immediately release 9,600 inmates to comply with a court order issued four years ago. Prison overcrowding has left inmates without adequate dental and mental health care. 

Now, it's one thing for the federal judges to order Governor Jerry Brown to let them loose, but it's quite another to actually make it happen. Joining us with more is KPCC's state capital reporter Julie Small.

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