Money crunch forces California to release prisoners

May 16th, 2009 - 11:49 am ICT by IANS  

Arnold Schwarzenegger Los Angeles, May 16 (Xinhua) Thousands of prisoners lodged in California jails will be released as part of a government plan to cope with the financial crisis, a media report said.
According to the plan, thousands of illegal immigrants lodged in California prisons will be handed over to the federal authorities, while inmates jailed for other crimes will be shifted to the county prisons.

The plan announced by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will see the release of nearly 19,000 undocumented immigrants from state prisons.

About 23,000 inmates, jailed for other crimes, will be sent to the county jails, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

The governor’s financial crisis plan would also cut healthcare benefits to more than 200,000 children across the state.

California needs about $6 billion to pay state bills, the report said.

“We are going to do everything that we can to make sure that we are going to make ends meet, but it’s going to be tough,” Schwarzenegger said in remarks published by the paper.

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