Last November, Californians voted overwhelmingly to pass Proposition 57. The goal of the proposition was simple: encourage incarcerated individuals to take advantage of rehabilitative programs by letting them earn their way to an earlier parole board hearing.
Now, we have an opportunity to once again weigh in and let our lawmakers know how we want the credits to be implemented.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has proposed a draft of how credits should be implemented under Prop 57. While we agree with several pieces of their proposal, such as allowing incarcerated individuals to earn credits for programs that are created by and led by other incarcerated individuals, we have three main areas of concern.
In order for this Proposition to be fairly applied, three major changes need to be made to the proposed implementation.
Ensure all credits be applied retroactively. At this time, credits for good conduct and rehabilitative achievement are not being applied retroactively. This means that while people will keep whatever credit they earned under the old law, the new credits will not come into play unless an individual retakes a program. The one exception is for “Enhanced Milestone Credits,” such as degrees. The proposed regulations should apply new program credits to people who prior to Prop. 57 were dedicated to rehabilitation. There is no reason why benefits of Prop. 57 should not apply retroactively to cover genuine rehabilitation programming in the past.
33% credits should be given to all individuals. Currently, the implementation proposal allows for good conduct credits to be awarded differently depending on the nature of your crime. The goal with the good conduct credits should be to encourage individuals who are incarcerated, regardless of their crimes, to follow the rules while in prison. These credits should be given at the same rate, 33.3%, to all incarcerated men and women who show they are fit for reintegration back into society by not getting in trouble while incarcerated.
Allow youth offenders to be eligible for credit provisions. The proposed regulations should not exclude young people eligible for parole under SB 260 and 261, the Youth Offender Parole law. At its core, Prop. 57 promised to correct the over-incarceration of young people and encourage positive rehabilitative programming. There is no justifiable reason to undermine the positive reforms of SB 260 and 261.
ACT NOW: WRITE A LETTER
Use this sample letter, or just write your own and send via email to:
Or mail to:
Timothy M. Lockwood
Regulation and Policy Management Branch
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
PO Box 942883
Sacramento, CA 94283-0001
Fax: (916) 324-6075
The deadline for letters is 5:00 pm on September 1st, 2017.