41 elected district attorneys challenge early release of state prison inmates
–District Attorney Dan Dow announced this week that he has joined Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert and 39 other elected district attorneys across California in filing a petition with the Secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) requesting the repeal of temporary emergency regulations awarding additional credits toward the sentences of more than 76,000 state prison inmates. These additional credits toward their sentences will allow serious, violent, and sex offenders in prison to parole earlier.
“The time is now to consider the impact on victims of crime when making decisions to release serious, violent, and sex offenders from prison early,” said District Attorney Dan Dow. “This early release program for serious and violent offenders was created under the disguise of a non-existent emergency and is a prime example of how we have neglected survivors of crime when reforming our criminal and victim justice system. The people deserve much better.”
The regulations that award additional time credit toward prison sentences were passed under a claim of an emergency and first made public on Friday, April 30, 2021, at 3 p.m. These regulations would result in the early release of some of California’s most violent and serious criminals.
In adopting these regulations, and claiming an emergency, the CDCR Secretary stated these regulations were necessary to comply with “the direction outlined in the Governor’s Budget Summary” presented a year ago on May 14, 2020. By invoking an emergency, the traditional regulatory scheme and transparent public comment period was bypassed.
The administrative law petition is often the first step in seeking a formal court order declaring the regulations unlawful. If the emergency regulations are nullified by a court, CDCR would be forced to pass the regulations in the traditional manner, requiring the State’s Office of Administrative Law to provide greater transparency and public input.
District Attorney Schubert stated, “Allowing the early release of the most dangerous criminals, shortening sentences as much as 50-percent, impacts crime victims and creates a serious public safety risk. This petition asks CDCR to repeal these regulations, begin the process anew, and allow for transparency and public input. Victims, their families, and all Californians deserve a fair and honest debate about the wisdom of such drastic regulations.”
Concerned residents may contact the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to express their concerns here: https://www.cdcr.ca.gov/regulations/
The public can submit comments regarding CDCR regulation changes in the following ways:
Mail written comments to:
Regulation and Policy Management Branch
P.O. Box 942883
Sacramento, CA 94283-0001
Or comments may be e-mailed to RPMB@cdcr.ca.gov