Calif could lose 1,500 inmate firefighters |

Calif could lose 1,500 inmate firefighters

LOS ANGELES (AP) – An unforeseen result of the state’s prison realignment that moves prisoners from state to county facilities is that it may reduce the number of inmate firefighters in California.

The Los Angeles Times reports ( ) more than 1,500 inmate firefighters will be lost in the process.

The state has relied on well-behaved, nonviolent offenders to help clear brush and cut fire lines since World War II.

Fire officials say the prisoners can comprise as much as half of the manpower assigned to a major inferno.

The state’s realignment was developed to comply with a U.S. Supreme Court decision that ordered California to reduce overcrowding.

State corrections and fire officials say they want to work with local governments to train county inmates, but local officials balked at the $46 a day cost.


Information from: Los Angeles Times,

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