California Gov. Jerry Brown and four previous California governors filed a brief earlier this week opposing an order to release inmates from the state’s crowded prisons.
Brown joined with Republicans Pete Wilson, George Deukmejian and Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democrat Gray Davis in filing the brief on Monday before the U.S. Supreme Court.
The brief argues against a ruling made by a panel of three federal judges ordering the state to release more than 9,500 inmates by the end of the year to meet a court-ordered target for reducing prison crowding.
Brown wants the U.S. Supreme Court to block the order while his appeal is heard.
The prison system has been under court oversight because judges determined that overcrowding prevented adequate healthcare for inmates, causing death and unconstitutional conditions behind bars.
In the brief, they argue that the state has made enough improvements. It also warns that crime will increase if the state is forced to release inmates.
“Given the irreparable harm of criminal victimization, the likelihood that further releases will cause more victimization, and the dramatic improvements in California prison healthcare since the original trial in this case, no further reductions should be ordered without a full examination of the case,” the brief said.