District attorneys file suit challenging early release of inmates
44 district attorneys challenging the early release of 76,000 state prison inmates
–San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow announced this week that he has joined with 43 other elected district attorneys across California and filed a civil lawsuit against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) seeking declaratory and injunctive relief to prohibit awarding additional conduct credits to more than 76,000 violent and serious offenders.
The additional credits were the product of “emergency” regulations which were passed and first made public on Friday, April 30, 2021, at 3 p.m. 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 time is now to consider the impact on victims of crime when making decisions to release serious, violent, and sex offenders from prison early,” District Attorney Dow said. “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.”
Two weeks ago, on May 13, 2021, 41 elected District Attorneys filed a petition with CDCR requesting the repeal of the “emergency” regulations. This lawsuit now seeks an order from the court to repeal the regulations.
This lawsuit requests the Superior Court to declare the regulations unlawful and to prohibit CDCR from awarding these additional credits until CDCR lawfully complies with the regulatory scheme, which would include a transparent and rigorous public comment period.