In another move toward sentencing reform, California voters approved Proposition 57, The California Parole for Non-Violent Criminals and Juvenile Court Trial Requirements Initiative.

Championed by Governor Jerry Brown, the proposition is aimed at encouraging rehabilitation.  “You can actually earn years off your sentence. You can earn it by good behavior, by really changing your life,” he said before the vote.

From the ballot summary, the proposition

  • allows parole consideration for “nonviolent” inmates;
  • authorizes the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to award sentence credits for rehabilitation, good behavior, or educational achievements;
  • Requires Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to adopt regulations to implement new parole and sentence credit provisions and certify they enhance public safety; and
  • requires that judges decide whether juvenile (under age 14) offenders should be tried in adult court.

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Jennifer Morinigo

The American Law Institute

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