Judge stops California previous releases for repeat offenders

DON THOMPSON / Associated Press

A judge on Wednesday temporarily halted California’s plans to hasten potential release dates for repeat offenders with serious and violent criminal records under the state’s “three-strikes” law.

California correctional authorities had issued emergency regulations to increase codes of conduct for inmates on the second strike who are serving their sentences for non-violent crimes held in minimum security prisons and camps.

Their day credits should be increased from half their sentences to two-thirds of their sentences from New Years Saturday.

Twenty-eight of California’s 58 district attorneys protested the rule.

A Sacramento County judge issued an injunction prohibiting the change until a hearing next month.

Prosecutors argued that this would apply to those convicted of, among other things, domestic violence, human trafficking, animal cruelty and gun possession by inmates with a criminal record for serious and violent crimes. California has a narrow definition of violent crime.

Prison officials said they will review the judge’s order and move on to other parts of the rule that have not been blocked.

“Many of these so-called nonviolent second strikers have long and violent criminal records – including repeated convictions of aggravated domestic violence, sexual assault and gun violence,” said Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert.

She led the effort and is running for the Attorney General’s office on a law-and-order platform. The prosecutors did not reject changes in the issuing of certificates of good conduct to detained firefighters.

“Nobody denies good conduct for the work in the fire brigade camp, but smuggling in another class of people with serious and violent criminal records goes too far,” said Schubert.

Correctional officials issued a statement in response that their primary responsibility was public safety.

“As part of this mission, we will continue to ensure that incarcerated people who seek their own rehabilitation through their good behavior, and who participate in programs and rehabilitation opportunities, are given the opportunity to earn credit for their efforts,” they said.

Comments are closed.