SHARECOMMENTMORE

SACRAMENTO -- Everything is bigger in Texas, the saying goes, and that is now also true of that state's prison system.

California used to have the nation's largest state prison system, with 173,000 inmates at its peak in 2006.

But the state has sharply reduced its prison population since a law took effect last year shifting responsibility for less serious criminals to county jails.

California now has fewer than 136,000 state inmates, while Texas has 154,000.

The news comes as California corrections officials on Wednesday announced a new round of layoffs. They say fewer guards and other employees are needed as the inmate population shrinks.

The inmate reduction was ordered by federal judges, who ruled that crowded prisons were causing poor care of sick and mentally ill inmates.