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Calif. Must Say How It Will Ease Prison Crowding

SACRAMENTO (AP) — A federal three-judge panel has given California corrections officials until January to say how they will reduce the state's inmate population to comply with an order upheld last year by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The state must reduce its prison population by 33,000, to a maximum of 110,000 inmates, by next June.

Corrections officials say they cannot meet that goal if they follow through on their plan to retrieve inmates who are housed in private prisons in other states. They want to do that to save money.

Bringing back those prisoners would put the state 3,000 inmates over the court-imposed cap.

The judges said last month that they would not adjust the inmate cap. On Thursday, they told corrections officials to develop a plan to meet the June deadline.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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