Prison officials in California said it's unlikely they will be able to reduce prison population as mandated by three judges by the deadline of June 2013.
The U.S. Supreme Court in May 2011 determined California's prisons were so overcrowded and healthcare so poor, incarceration there was tantamount to "cruel and unusual punishment."
The court gave the state two years to reduce prison overcrowding to 137.5 percent.
State officials said it's unlikely to reach that level by June 2013 and said they would like a new cap of 145 percent, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.
"Reducing the inmate population is not the goal of the court," corrections agency spokesman Bill Sessa said. "It is a means to an end, which is providing better healthcare that was compromised by overcrowding."
At 145 percent, roughly 118,000 prisoners would be living in quarters built for 81,500 people, which is about 6,000 more than the high court wanted.
Three federal judges said the state has until Friday to come up with a plan to identify prisoners "unlikely to reoffend or who might otherwise be candidates for early release" and other ways to reduce the prison population, the Times reported.
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