Gov. Jerry Brown is planning to ask federal judges to delay their requirement that the state release thousands of inmates by year's end to ease prison overcrowding.
If the judges reject his plan, the administration plans to spend $315 million this fiscal year to house the inmates in private prisons and county jails instead of turning them loose.
The state has a court-ordered deadline Monday to report on its progress. Its response is based on a law enacted last week in the closing hours of this year's legislative session.
Instead of spending hundreds of millions of dollars to lease cells, the state is offering to spend part of the money on treatment programs if the court extends its deadline for reducing the prison population by about 9,600 inmates.