Experts in both public health and public safety are urging that California take immediate action to prevent a COVID-19 disaster in the state prison system. On March 25, 2020, attorneys from Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld and Prison Law Office filed an emergency motion before a three-judge court in Sacramento and San Francisco requesting a modification of the 2011 California state prison population cap to prevent an uncontrolled outbreak in the state’s 34 adult prisons.
On March 31 the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (“CDCR”) filed their response. The court held a telephonic hearing on April 2.
Links to the emergency motion and supporting documents filed with the court, along with CDCR’s filings in response, are provided below.
The motion is backed by the testimony of Dr. Marc Stern, an expert in prison health care, as well as by the state’s former parole chief, Thomas Hoffman, both of whom testified that the public safety and health are at risk if the pandemic is allowed to spread through an overcrowded prison system.
Plaintiffs’ Court Filings on March 25:
CDCR Filings on March 31:
Plaintiffs’ Reply Filings on April 1: