Politics

California shortens the sentences of 76,000 inmates by nearly half, including those of violent felons

As California aims to trim down its prison population, 76,000 inmates are now eligible for early release. The 76,000 inmates include violent and repeat felons.

More than 63,000 violent felons will be eligible for good behavior credits that will shorten their sentences by one-third, originally the credits would shorten sentences by one-fifth. While the new rule has taken effect, it will likely be months or years before inmates go free earlier. More than 10,000 nonviolent inmates convicted of a second serious offence under the state’s “three strike” law will be eligible for release after serving half their sentence. The same rule will apply to approximately 2,900 third strike offenders.

“The goal is to increase incentives for the incarcerated population to practice good behavior and follow the rules while serving their time, and participate in rehabilitative and educational programs, which will lead to safer prisons,” department spokeswoman Dana Simas said in a statement. “Additionally, these changes would help to reduce the prison population by allowing incarcerated persons to earn their way home sooner,” she said. California has been under court orders to reduce the prison population since it’s peak of 160,000 in 2006. The state prison population has declined since and started when lower-level felons were moved to county prisons.

ARTICLE: DUSTIN RODGERS

POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: LONG BEACH POST

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