San Diego, CA–Twenty-eight elected district attorneys across California have been granted a temporary restraining order, by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Raymond Cadei, preventing the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from enacting an increase from 50% “good time” custody credits to 66% credits for inmates who have been previously convicted of one or more serious and violent crimes.
The court order comes in the wake of Corrections and Rehabilitation recently enacted “emergency” regulations that allow for additional custody credits to be awarded to serious and violent felons, leading to their earlier release from prison, including credits that are not based upon completing any rehabilitation programs.
Corrections and Rehabilitation’s newest regulations also grant additional good conduct credits to inmates working in fire camp-related activities. Unrelated to fire camp credits, the department sought to increase credits to 66% good conduct credits and two-thirds time shaved off sentences to second strike inmates. They took the action amid a pending lawsuit that San Diego DA also joined in challenging the additional credits on the basis that it had illegally used the emergency exception to bypass public comment. The new class of credits would include providing additional custody credits for inmates convicted of domestic violence, residential burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, human trafficking, and possession of weapons, who also have previous convictions for serious and violent felonies.
“Releasing inmates early who have committed atrocious crimes after only serving a fraction of their sentence threatens the safety of our communities and is a slap in the face to crime victims who are still suffering,” San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan said. “My fellow District Attorneys and I do not contest good conduct credits for fire camp work, but extending those credits to inmates with serious and violent criminal histories is not in the interest of justice or the public’s safety.”
To stop the enforcement of the newest early release “emergency regulation,” the 28 District Attorneys filed a temporary restraining order on December 22 with Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert’s office as the lead author. On December 29, the court granted the petition and issued the order against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, opening the avenue to file a full lawsuit.