Inmates file by a guard tower at California's Chino State Prison in 2010.
Credit Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images
"Compassionate release" programs that free inmates with terminal illnesses and limited life expectancies are poorly run and lack clear standards, the Department of Justice's inspector general said on Wednesday.
A new watchdog report (PDF) says a Federal Bureau of Prisons program designed to help terminally ill inmates get early release is "poorly managed and implemented inconsistently."
The study by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, which was released Wednesday morning, finds that in 13 percent of cases in which prisoners were approved for the program, inmates died before bureaucrats in Washington made a final decision.
Gov. Jerry Brown in January calls for federal judges to return control of California prisons to the state. This month, a federal appeals court denied Brown's request and ordered the state to reduce its prison population immediately.
Credit Rich Pedroncelli / AP
California Gov. Jerry Brown is locked in a legal battle over control of his state's prison system. Two years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling ordering the state to drastically reduce its prisoner population. Brown claims the state has made substantial progress, but the governor has stopped short of complying fully with the court order.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Twenty-five people were indicted in Baltimore this week, 13 of them prison guards in a story that involves gangs, bribes, drugs and sex - and it's real life, not a TV show. The indictments say a group of prisoners have essentially been in charge of the Baltimore City Detention Center, working with prison guards to run a lucrative drug and cell phone smuggling operation.