Tuesday, Sep 24 2013 04:42 PM

Federal judges extend deadline in prison dispute

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    By AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

    Gov. Jerry Brown, center, responds to a question concerning the compromise plan reached on reducing the state's prison population, during a Capitol news conference in Sacramento, Calif., in this Monday, Sept. 9, 2013, file photo.

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BY TOM VERDIN Associated Press

SACRAMENTO -- Federal judges have agreed to extend an end-of-year deadline for reducing California's prison population in hopes of finding a long-term solution to an overcrowding crisis.

The ruling Tuesday also granted at least a temporary victory to Gov. Jerry Brown on the issue.

Brown had been fighting against an early release of inmates to comply with the federal court's order, saying it jeopardized public safety.

On Tuesday, a panel of three federal judges granted a delay until Jan. 27 but said all parties must meet with a separate judge, who will make recommendations to the panel by mid-October.

In their order, the three judges say they want to ensure a durable solution to the prison crowding problem.

They want the state and attorneys representing inmates to examine Three Strikes inmates and elderly and infirmed prisoners among others.

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