Governor: Give us back our prisons

Governor: Give us back our prisons »Play Video
Gov. Jerry Brown gestures to a stack of reports on California prisons as he discuss his call for federal judges to return control of California prisons to the state during a news conference at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013. (Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown says reducing California's inmate population further to meet a federal order will endanger public safety and require the state to ignore its own sentencing laws.

After years of implementing changes, California would have to grant shorter sentences to inmates convicted of violent or serious felonies to meet the court's mandate.

Brown spoke to reporters Tuesday, hours after the state met a deadline to file a prison-management plan with federal courts.

His administration says the conditions that led to the court oversight — extremely poor medical and mental health care for inmates — have been solved and prisoners now receive care exceeding constitutional levels.

Brown also called for restoring the state's authority over its prison system and vowed to battle that to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.