SACRAMENTO—The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is preparing to update the Three-Judge Court on its progress towards meeting the court’s directive to reduce inmate population to 167 percent design capacity, or 133,000 inmates.

Today is the first benchmark date set by the court, but CDCR has until January 10, 2012 to calculate and file an updated population report.

In May 2011 the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the Three-Judge Court order requiring California to reduce the number of inmates in its 33 adult prisons by approximately 33,000 and reach established benchmarks at six-month intervals.

Under the Three-Judge Court’s prisoner-reduction order, the inmate population in California’s 33 prisons must not be no more than:

• 167 percent of design capacity by December 27, 2011,
• 155 percent by June 27, 2012,
• 147 percent by December 27, 2012, and
• 137.5 percent by June 27, 2013

Design capacity is the number of inmates a prison can house based on one inmate per cell, single-level bunks in dormitories, and no beds in places not designed for housing. Current design capacity in CDCR’s 33 institutions is 79,858.

As of December 14, the state’s 33 prisons held 134,804 inmates and were at 169.2 percent design capacity. Since October 1, the state prison inmate population has been dropping by an average of 933 inmates per week without the early release of any state prison inmates.

Copies of monthly status reports and other information are on CDCR’s Three-Judge Court Update webpage: CDCR also has created a graph on the website tracking the inmate population.


December 27, 2011
Contact: Jeffrey Callison
(916) 445-4950