Emergency regulations, intended to implement Proposition 57 and issued by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), must be set aside, according to a final ruling released today by a Sacramento Superior Court judge. The ruling specifically stated that “CDCR cannot substitute its judgment for what it wishes the drafters of Proposition 57 had said. Nor may CDCR’s…regulations override a clear directive in the Constitution.
“Due to this ruling, CDCR’s emergency regulations issued in March 2017 cannot be enforced and new regulations must be issued. The new regulation must define “‘nonviolent’ in a manner consistent with the Constitution and the voters’ directive.”
“Today’s ruling confirms and expands upon the judge’s tentative ruling issued about a month ago,” stated ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci. “It is a significant victory for prisoners convicted of a sex offense.
“The lawsuit, which was filed in April 2017, focuses upon CDCR’s regulations which excluded anyone convicted of a sex offense from benefiting from under Prop. 57. A hearing on the matter was held on February 9, 2018.
“Proposition 57 did not include an exclusion for people convicted of a sex offense,” stated Bellucci. “Therefore it was improper for CDCR to create such an exclusion in its emergency regulations.”
Today’s ruling also required Petitioner, the Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws, to prepare a formal judgment and writ for the judge’s review.
Prop. 57 is a ballot initiative approved by the public in November 2016. One part of that ballot initiative provides for early parole consideration for anyone convicted of a non-violent offense. The ballot initiative did not, however, include a definition of that term.