In November 2016, California voters passed Proposition 57. Under Prop 57, certain non-violent detainees are allowed the responsibility to convince the court system of their readiness for parole and apply for an early release. This helps many non-violent offenders to serve their sentences faster and return to their normal lives sooner.
Who is Eligible for Early Release Under Prop 57?
The California Penal Code 667.5 lists 23 crimes as violent offenses. A conviction for any of these crimes makes a prisoner ineligible for an early release under Prop 57. Many of the crimes are obvious, like murder and rape. Other crimes on the list are less easy to understand.
Inmates often need an attorney to figure out if their charges fall under the description of a violent crime or a non-violent offense. The details of the case and the specific charges filed against the offender may determine eligibility. An attorney can file an appeal if the inmate was not violent, but they are ineligible due to the type of charge made against them.
Earning the Credit
Non-violent offenders can earn up to six weeks of credit time per year. Credits are applied for good behavior. Included in this credit system are training, education, and rehabilitation programs.
Inmates that receive high school diplomas or higher degrees qualify for the added credit. Those that completed the programs before the law came into effect can receive retroactive credits. Rule violations of any kind cause loss of the credits.
Exclusions for Some
Prior convictions, the requirement to register as a sex offender, time spent in a mental health facility after commiting a crime and breaking prison rules can lead to ineligibility.
Prove Public Safety
Prop 57 does not guarantee an early release. Every inmate must prove they do not pose a threat to society. The benefit an inmate receives depends on their efforts to improve their lives and their willingness to follow prison rules. The CDCR conducts reviews on each qualified inmate once they serve the time for their primary offense before granting their release.
Proposition 57 helps many non-violent offenders to serve their sentences faster and return to their normal lives sooner. Unfortunately, there is a lot of confusion about who qualifies. Anyone facing criminal charges must have an attorney to prevent ineligibility through incorrect charges. Current inmates should have their case reviewed to see if they deserve any retroactive credits.
There are plenty of reasons why anyone facing or experiencing incarceration would want some advice and guidance about this law. Contact Solution Law APC to discuss your case or to learn more about early release credits.
Need Help with a Petition for Early Release?
We can prepare your petition (if eligible) and ensure the parole board sees all relevant information about you to help reach a fair decision in your case.
Solution Law APC
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