Long Beach, California 2021-05-01 13:53:53 –
More than 63,000 prisoners convicted of violent crimes are eligible for good deed credits, which reduces their sentence by one-third instead of one-fifth since 2017. This includes nearly 20,000 inmates who may be sentenced to life imprisonment. Parole.
The new rules will come into effect on Saturday, but it will take months or years for prisoners to be released early. Corrective authorities say the goal is to reward prisoners who improve themselves, while critics say the move will endanger the public.
The change qualifies more than 10,000 prisoners convicted of a second serious but non-violent crime under the state’s “three-strikes” law to be released after serving half their sentence. That’s an increase from the current years of service credit for one-third of their judgment.
The correction department predicts that the same increased release time will apply to nearly 2,900 nonviolent third strikers.
Also, as of Saturday, all minimum security prisoners in the work camp, including prisoners in the fire camp, are eligible for previous release of the same month of each month spent in the camp, regardless of the severity of the crime. ..
The changes were approved by the state administrative law this week.
“The goal is to increase the incentive for imprisoned people to take good actions, spend time following the rules and participating in rehabilitation and education programs that lead to safer prisons,” said department spokesman Dana Shimas. Said in a statement.
“In addition, these changes will help reduce the prison population by allowing imprisoned people to return home sooner,” she said.
Simas provided emergency regulations and an estimate of the number of prisoners they would affect at the request of the Associated Press.
Simas said the department is empowered to make changes under the current budget through the rule-making process. Making them “urgent regulations” allows agencies to impose new rules without public comments.
The department must now submit permanent regulations next year. They are considered an opportunity for public hearings and public comments.
Kent Schedeger, director of legal affairs at the Criminal Justice Foundation on behalf of victims of crime, said the idea that credit was for good deeds was a misnomer.
“You don’t have to be a good person to get good time credits. People who lose good time credits due to cheating get them back, they don’t stay away,” he said. Said. “If they have more teeth, they could be a useful device for managing the population. But they aren’t. In fact, they’re just giveaways.”
Republican Senator Jim Nielsen, who once headed the state’s parole committee, criticized Governor Gavin Newsom’s administration for unilaterally deciding to make changes.
“He does it in his own authority, not through the will of the people, through elected representatives or directly through their own votes,” Nielsen said. “This is what I call a vacation for Newsom’s bad behavior. He puts us all at greater risk and it seems that there is no end to the extent he wants to do it. “
California peaked at 160,000 in 2006 and has been ordered by a court to reduce the population of prisons that saw prisoners in gymnasiums and activity rooms. In 2011, the US Supreme Court upheld a federal judge’s requirement for states to reduce overcrowding.
The population has declined since the High Court ruling since the state began detaining low-level serious offenders in county prisons rather than state prisons. In 2014, voters eased penalties for property and drug crimes. Two years later, voters approved parole for most prisoners.
Before the pandemic, the population had declined to 117,00 prisoners. Last year, another 21,000 people left state prisons and about half were temporarily detained in county prisons.
Meanwhile, officials announced in mid-April that they would close a second prison as a result of the declining population and fulfill Newsom’s promises. The California Correction Center in Susanville will be closed by July 2022. Authorities announced last fall that Tracy’s Deuel Vocational Training Institute, east of San Francisco, will be closed by October of this year.
Many Democrats and advocates have called for further release and short sentences. For example, unified Californians for a responsible budget said at the beginning of April that the state should close at least 10 of its 35 prisons.