LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The impending release of thousands of inmates from California state prisons in the next few weeks will include a large number of  mothers who could eventually be reunited with their families.

As many as half of the 9,000 released inmates will be women with two years or less remaining on their sentence who are parents and non-serious or violent offenders.

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KNX 1070’s Pete Demetriou reports several local moms and dads are embracing the move.

“Every one, when they have a purpose like being a caregiver, I think that gives them something to do when they’re out and there’s a role and a need that needs to be fulfilled,” said one woman.

The early release would have conditions: women would have to submit to home or halfway house incarceration with a GPS bracelet and regularly report to parole agents.

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But supporters say not only would it reduce overcrowding at state prisons, but also keep the numbers down at Los Angeles County lockups as well.

Not everyone, however, is sold on the idea.

“On the surface it sounds discriminatory if it doesn’t apply to men as well who are single fathers or primary caregivers,” one man argued. “I would like to see a balance there.”

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While an estimated 4,500 female inmates might qualify for the home release program, any expansion of the plan to male inmates would likely be met with stronger public resistance.