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ACSOLCalifornia

Newly Filed Lawsuit Challenges CDCR Regs for Prop 57

A lawsuit was filed on April 27 challenging regulations recently issued by the CA Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) which prohibit the beneficial effects of Proposition 57 from applying to anyone convicted of a sex offense.  Those benefits include shorter prison terms that result from earning credit for good behavior as well as participation in rehabilitative, educational and career training programs.

        “Most registrable sex offenses are not violent offenses according to existing state law,” stated attorney Janice Bellucci.  “Therefore, CDCR’s regulations have no legal foundation and are unlawful.”

        The lawsuit, filed in Sacramento County Superior Court, requests a declaration that parts of the CDCR regulation are void and invalid.  The lawsuit also requests a writ that would require CDCR to apply the benefits of Proposition 57 to registrants convicted of non-violent felonies.

        “Proposition 57’s inclusion of all offenses not already designated ‘violent’ by state law was intentional, well-publicized, and within the contemplation of those who voted for it,” according to the lawsuit.  “Supporters and opponents of the measure routinely listed and described the specific offenses that would be eligible for early parole consideration if Proposition 57 became law, including nonviolent Registrable Offenses.”

        Proposition 57 was passed during the November 2016 elections.  The Official Voter Information Guide for that proposition included statements from opponents that identified many of the registrable offenses that would become eligible for early parole condition if the proposition was passed.  Many law enforcement officials also explained to the public at that time that Proposition 57 would apply to all inmates unless they had been convicted of a violent felony.

        After passage of Proposition 57, CDCR issued several public statements explaining the provisions of that proposition.  In its public statements, CDCR repeatedly confirmed that all inmates are eligible for early parole consideration unless their convictions were designated as violent.  One of those public statements came from CDCR Secretary Scott Kernan, who in a video released to inmates stated that “all inmates currently serving convictions for a nonviolent offense….will be able to participate in this parole process.”

        The number of individuals incarcerated in California for sex offenses was 24,724 as of January 2017, according to the CA Sex Offender Management Board.  It is not known at this time how many of those individuals were convicted of non-violent felonies.

Join the discussion

  1. TG

    Thanks, Janice!

    You are amazing!

  2. Alex

    Good. I hope they win. Sex offenses has to be one of the biggest (if not the biggest) misunderstood boogeyman out there. Vast majority of citizens beliefs on he matter are just about the opposite of actual facts. And too many politicians are more than happy to keep feeding the ignorance. Their want to keep their job harms far more people directly and indirectly than it supposedly supposed to protect.

    • Nondescript

      Any private citizen who fervently believes in and advocates for the continuation of registries has a dim mental acuity and probably a lost cause. Seriously, I view these people as programmed and feel almost sorry for them. To have allowed the “experts” on TV to do their thinking for them AND steer their emotions is about the laziest, most apathetic thing one could allow. Americans in particular have actually allowed their minds to be incrementally seized and they don’t even care! They are just as dangerous as the politicians in my view. And anyone who is seduced to perpetuate the registries by a reward are equally so.

      “The most dangerous people in the world are not the tiny minority instigating evil acts, but those who do the acts for them – for a paycheck. To act without a conscience, but for a paycheck, makes anyone a dangerous animal. The devil would be powerless if he couldn’t entice people to do his work. So as long as money continues to seduce the hungry, the hopeless, the broken, the greedy, and the needy, there will always be war between people. ”
      – The philiosphical musings of some dead guy

  3. mike r

    This is a great suit..I am glad they are being challenged when they unlawfully apply their own interpretations of the law. Man just going to college up here in Sacramento can be confusing at best. The law states that I have to register every time I enroll or un enroll but I never really un enroll since I am a full time student so I have to go to campus police every semester with a copy of my class schedule and now I am taking an online course this summer and I am reading and finding a form on the CA DOJ website that I have to fill out and mail by certified mail to the campus police within working days 5 days of starting class and ending class. I am so tired of this crap and my gf doesn’t want me to file my suit yet because she is afraid of repercussions and it could jeopardize her job or make them harass me a school…I am so fet up with this crap though…

  4. Not so!

    Finally. Now this is something good.

  5. Eric

    It is amazing that drug dealing is considered a nonviolent offense considering in Mexico more people have been murdered by the cartels than died in Vietnam, and all the carnage in Chicago is drug related. Yet still, unless a firearm was present , all of them will get time off from prop 57. So some serious misconceptions are present.

    • pgm111

      When I was two weeks to the gate, I was in the middle of the housing unit at FCI Seagoville speaking with a small group of friends when one of the latino shot-callers walked by and called us “chomos”. I hate that term, so I very loudly called him a “chomo” and doubled down by walking up to him and proclaiming (loudly so that his little buddies would hear) that “all drug dealers are chomos because a thuggish, drug dealing lifestyle” directly harms children in so many ways.” He looked at me with astonishment. I stared him in the eye from six feet away, spoke loudly and explained that: selling drugs depletes the financial resources to families of those addicted “and that is harmful to children”, the drug dealers now in prison are not home supporting their own families “and that is harmful to their own children” and that every drug dealer on earth gives drugs to underage girls and receives sexual favors in lieu of cash payment “and that is sex offending behavior harmful to children”. The shot-caller was dumbstruck, so I told him to think about that, do his own time, and STFU. I walked back to my friends who were aghast and resumed the conversation by saying “… now where were we?” It may have been my finest moment while locked up.

  6. Joe123

    Excellent news! Slowly chipping away at this whole scheme. We need more lawsuits like this.

  7. Nicholas Maietta

    I did 5 years on State Parole, even though i was sentenced to 3 and my conviction and sentencing was prior to 2003 when the “3001” amendment went into effect. When everyone else was getting half-time, i got 85%.

    It’s not just prop 57. This 85% requirement for good-time credits are just as bad. Even if a person does not go to prison for a 290 offense, but are currently registered as 290’s, will also be forced to do 85% and subject to the same restrictions as if their “controlling case” was the 290-covered offense.

    This crap has to end.

  8. Robert R.

    Who or what organization filed this lawsuit on April 27?

    • Janice Bellucci

      The two plaintiffs in this case are ACSOL and a man convicted of a sex offense who is currently incarcerated.

      • Robert R.

        Thank you Janice! These irrational, illegal, and unconstitutional laws, polices and ordinances used to go unchecked. Thanks to your leadership and ACSOL’s wonderful team of dedicated individuals, those dark days are over. The one size fits all, will hopefully be a thing of the past in our lifetime.

      • DPH

        Janice as incarcerated, he may of not informed you, but an Inmate(s) of 290 area canNOT even go to on site College or Education. CDCR denies 290;s from attending but allow murderers and arsonists though.
        What kind of Rehabilitation is that inside the walls?
        Yes, I concur with Mister Roger, Thank YOU for your work with ALL RC’s incarcerated or not. Thank you.

        • LaVearne Davis

          Are all 290 under the all the new laws if it happen 2001.My brother was convicted in 2001 ,they came him 18 years due to a prior that was a different penal code in 1991 but at any rate he did his time with the 85% and now they have him on five years porole.
          They havent allow him to tranfer to San Diego where he has family and support, they say he has to do his whole porole time in the San Bernardino county. There are a lot of his civil rights that we think have been violated

    • judilee325

      alliance for constitutional sex offenses filed suit via janice bellucci, attorney in sacramento.

  9. Roger

    Janice, thanks for your tireless work to help us registrants.

    The war for freedom we are in has many battles. Suits like this are one of many important ways that ACSOL changes our lives for the better.

  10. Not Really

    Breaking news. Video of Janice going after the slithering underground regulation rearing its ugly head.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bfxOSqYQ50

  11. Mark

    What I am seeing as I take a more involved stance on registry matters, is that the silent are finally speaking out and if nothing else, are nodding their heads in support. Others are empathetic to the plight of those trying to reintegrate with their families and community after serving their time. Stand strong and know you are not alone. Thank you Janice and Pam and well…everybody fighting for us!

    • Not Really

      As a sort of sidebar to the subject, I’m reading “Serial Murderers and Their Victims” by Eric W. Hickey, and something that stands out is a common denominator of most serial killers:

      “Many kill as a result of rejection and abandonment in childhood” (pg 6, 23, 71, 74, 87, 89 and more.)

      I thought it rather ironic that the very thing the registry does is also a dominant motive for serial killers. Of course the action and equal but opposite reaction does not usually result in murder, but it is strange how twisted and self-defeating from the social perspective the registry logic is.

  12. Mark

    Thank you Janice for addressing this issue. For many years I typically became the Men’s Advisory Council Secretary and challenged many adverse policies which often got me into trouble with the guards. I knew the risks and paid the consequences for my efforts, but I tried. It was so frustrating not having anyone on the outside (such as yourself), to challenge these discriminatory rules and regulations. Those convicted of these types of crimes with an “R” suffix will always be at the bottom of the food chain and need all the help they can get. Thank you on behalf of all those inside, their families and their loved ones who will benefit from your efforts.

    • Not Really

      If the registry is merely civil regulation meant to protect the public, then why the “R” while incarcerated?

      • What's an R suffix?

        @Not Really and/or Mark

        Please explain what an “R suffix” means. Thanks

        –AJ

        • Not Really

          I assumed it means Registered. That could be wrong.

        • C

          When I was in the joint (87 to 94) an R suffix on one’s security classification indicated sex crime or arson. Of course, everyone with an R insisted they had an arson crime, whether they did or not.
          Ah, good times….

          • R suffix

            I found what it means. It’s in 15 CCR § 3377.1: “(b) An ‘R’ suffix shall be affixed to an inmate’s custody designation to ensure the safety of inmates, correctional personnel, and the general public by identifying inmates who have a history of specific sex offenses as outlined in Penal Code (PC) Section 290.” There are some subparagraphs giving a bit more info about the designator (@C: no mention of arson).

            (https://govt.westlaw.com/calregs/Document/IBD6F0670164511E19CBC9968FD960C57?viewType=FullText&originationContext=documenttoc&transitionType=CategoryPageItem&contextData=(sc.Default))

            It can even be used if your R-qualifying charge was dismissed! (https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/news/2004/jul/15/california-sex-offender-prison-classification-label-approved-for-dismissed-charge/)

            –AJ

            • Not Really

              Good work, very good.

              Whoa! Check out FN 6 of Farley!

              Here is more:

              Should have filed habeus corpus:
              JONES v. LUTHER (unpublished)
              http://www.leagle.com/decision/In%20CACO%2020110428044/JONES%20v.%20LUTHER?

              In Farley, this court noted that “[j]udicial review of a CDC [California Department of Corrections] custody determination is limited to determining whether the classification decision is arbitrary, capricious, irrational, or an abuse of the discretion granted those given the responsibility for operating prisons. [Citation.]” (In re Farley, supra, 109 Cal.App.4th at p. 1361.)

              However, isn’t it necessary to exhaust administrative remedies first?

              IN RE JENKINS

              50 Cal.4th 1167 (2010)

              “It is rational, and not arbitrary, to consider an inmate’s actual work performance for purposes of classifying and housing that inmate.”

              But these do not challenge the authority of the CDC to draft these regulations and I question if the CDC has the authority to draft its own registry. For example:

              Harris v. Alcoholic Bev. etc. Appeals Bd.

              http://law.justia.com/cases/california/court-of-appeal/2d/228/1.html

              [1] In the absence of valid statutory authority, an administrative agency may not, under the guise of a regulation, substitute its judgment for that of the Legislature. [2] It may not exercise its sublegislative powers to modify, alter or enlarge the provisions of the legislative act which is being administered. [3] Administrative regulations in conflict with the Constitution or statutes are generally declared to be null or void. (Hammond v. McDonald, 49 Cal. App. 2d 671, 679 [122 P.2d 332]; Hodge v. McCall, 185 Cal. 330, 334 [197 P. 86].) These principles apply even though its rule-making authority derives directly from the Constitution. (Blatz Brewing Co. v. Collins, 69 Cal. App. 2d 639 [160 P.2d 37].)

    • Janice Bellucci

      You are very welcome, Mark, and you can expect additional lawsuits to be filed in the near future addressing similar topics.

      • Perseverance

        Thank you Janice!
        James 1:17 ” every good and perfect gift comes from above”

      • Not Really

        Janice, you may already know about it, but Google this:

        John Chamberlain orange county Sheriff

  13. Rubi taylor

    Are there any other lawsuits that have been filed on this behalf. My husband is currently incarcerated for drug charges but has a 290 case that has excluded him for prop 57 non violent consideration. We want to know if he can file a petition also.

    • judilee325

      he should be eligible if he has completed serving the “full term” for his primary offense, so long as he is currently serving time for a “non-violent felony.” section 290 registrants are eligible under the 3 panel judge order 2/10/14 as well as prop 57. wait till the regs are finalized (should be sept 21) and how this lawsuit unfolds before you petition for early parole. good luck!

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