The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal of a case in which the State of California has been ordered to reduce the prison population by 40,000 prisoners. The case actually started in 1990 when various lawsuits were filed regarding the overcrowded conditions in California prisons. Throughout the litigation, courts have issued many findings that the conditions in California's prisons violate the Constitution. In August of last year, a three judge panel of federal judges ruled that the only way to remedy the situation is to reduce the prison population by almost 40,000 inmates by the end of 2011. The California prison system was designed to house 80,000 inmates but was housing almost double that number just a few years ago. The State of California has been taking steps to comply with the court's order even as it has been aggressively appealing the order of the three judge panel.
The case will be argued in the fall term, which begins in October. The case is Schwartzenegger v. Plata, 09-1233.
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