Today, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) published a re-notice of the Proposition 57 regulations. The public will be given a 15-day period to submit comments on these revisions.
The revised regulations are the result of a previous public comment period. The Office of Administrative Law (OAL) had approved emergency regulations for Proposition 57 in April. CDCR received comments from approximately 12,000 individuals earlier this year, and the department has worked diligently to prepare responses to these comments, which will be provided to OAL in a final statement of reasons, per the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) process.
“Our decisions were not made lightly nor were they made in a vacuum. CDCR heard arguments representing a wide range of views, and concluded that many of the suggested changes would be contrary to existing law or would result in disparate treatment of inmates,” said CDCR Secretary Scott Kernan. “Our intent is to incentivize inmates to participate in rehabilitative and self-help programs that will make them better individuals, and to do so in a way that enhances public safety. I remain committed to putting in place a fair credit system that acknowledges good behavior and hard work.”
In the re-noticed regulations, credit-earning opportunities continue to be awarded prospectively (except for the Educational Merit Credits) to inmates for good behavior and successful program participation and completion, since inmate participation and documentation of programming was not uniform prior to Proposition 57. In addition, Third-Strike inmates will not be included in the nonviolent offender parole review process.
The Proposition 57 regulations include an increase in credit-earning opportunities for inmate participation in in-prison programs and activities, as well as parole consideration for nonviolent offenders once they have served the full-term of their primary offense. The emergency regulations approved in the spring have allowed CDCR to fully implement the provisions of the proposition, including the expansion of the Good Conduct Credits, which began on May 1, 2017; the nonviolent offender parole review process on July 1, 2017; and the credit-earning opportunities for Milestone Completion, Rehabilitative Achievement, Educational Merit, and Extraordinary Conduct, which went into effect on August 1, 2017.
The revised text of the regulations codifies the historic reform overwhelmingly passed by voters in November 2016 and gives inmates a strong incentive to participate in and complete rehabilitative programs. Furthermore, the most dangerous offenders remain in prison; taxpayer dollars are spent as prudently as possible; and we avoid the release of offenders by the court due to the federally-imposed population cap on CDCR.
Proposition 57 does not apply to condemned inmates and those serving life-without-the-possibility-of-parole sentences.
For more information, visit www.cdcr.ca.gov/proposition57.
For more information about CDCR, please contact the Office of External Affairs at (916) 445-4950.