SACRAMENTO – Assemblyman Joe Patterson, R-Rocklin, introduced legislation aimed at bringing transparency and accountability to a credit system currently allowing the secret early release of inmates by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).
Under Prop 57, inmates can earn credits for good conduct, education and rehabilitation, but the calculations of this secret credit system are unknown. When releases are made under a Prop 57 Parole Review, the District Attorney and victim are notified of the release; however, CDCR is releasing inmates without notification by issuing credits and deeming the sentence completed after serving only a fraction of the sentence.
“I support proven rehabilitation programs, but the reality is that inmates are now being secretly released and earning credits automatically,” said Assemblyman Patterson. “Our local District Attorneys are seeing criminals, denied parole, released back into communities to repeat offend, without notification to the District Attorney or victim. This cannot continue unchecked.”
AB 1260 will require advanced notification to local District Attorneys of the credit calculations determined for the early release of inmates. This legislation would require the notification to include the length of the sentence imposed by the court, the amount of time the sentence was changed by each category of credit awarded or denied, and the percentage of the length of the sentence that the inmate has served compared to the original sentence.
“Our victims and communities deserve access to information regarding inmates being released into their neighborhoods,” said Placer County District Attorney Morgan Gire about AB 1260. “Just as the front end of the criminal justice process demands transparency, so must every step in that process. We are simply asking for accountability regarding these program decisions like we would any other policy program. Our residents deserve nothing less and I appreciate the opportunity to work with Assemblyman Joe Patterson on this important issue.”
Patterson represents the 5th Assembly District, which is comprised of the communities of Roseville, Rocklin, Lincoln, Granite Bay, Auburn, North Auburn, Loomis, Meadow Vista, Newcastle, Penryn, El Dorado Hills, Cameron Park, Diamond Springs, Placerville, Shingle Springs, Auburn Lake Trails, Georgetown, Cold Springs, Coloma, Rescue and Cool.