A U.S. Supreme Court ruling involving prison overcrowding in California should worry West Virginians, where too many convicts and too few cells also are problems.
In 2011, the high court ordered California to reduce overcrowding in prisons, which justices said led to unconstitutional conditions. Last week, though progress has been made to address the challenge, the court reaffirmed its order, saying nearly 10,000 inmates must be released from Golden State prisons by the end of the year.
That will mean sending dangerous criminals back out onto the streets.West Virginia prisons are overcrowded, too. Though we also are making progress to resolve the problem, last week's ruling makes it clear the high court's patience will be limited if a Mountain State inmate files a lawsuit over the issue.