California News

Jan 27, 2013 3:38 PM by ASSOCIATED PRESS

Protest against prison overcrowding draws hundreds

CHOWCHILLA, Calif. (AP) - About 400 people have demonstrated outside a Central Valley women's prison to protest against overcrowding at the facility.

The Merced Sun Star reports (http://bit.ly/STvpTt) protesters called for improved conditions inside the Central California Women's Facility in Chowchilla.

Data from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations says the inmate population there is crowded to 187 percent of its design capacity.

Department spokeswoman Dana Simas denies claims of overcrowding at the women's prison, and says the prison's population will decrease over coming months.

The state is under a federal court order to lower its overall prison population to 137.5 percent of design capacity by late June.

Corrections officials say California's prison system stands at about 150 percent of design capacity.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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