Women inmates eyed as Calif complies with US order

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - More than two dozen seriously ill female inmates could be among the first in line for release as California struggles to meet a federal court order to reduce prison crowding by year's end.

The U.S. Supreme Court last week refused to delay a lower court order requiring the state to free nearly 10,000 inmates to help improve conditions for those who are sick or mentally ill.

A federal official has given the state files on about 30 women inmates who could be released on medical parole as part of California's response. A spokeswoman for the federal receiver said Monday that they are among 900 inmates statewide who have been preliminarily identified as eligible for medical parole.

It is one of many steps California is taking to meet the court order.

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