An appellate court in California ruled today that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) must provide consideration for early parole to a registrant who is currently incarcerated for an offense that is not a sex offense in accordance with Proposition 57 (Prop. 57). The majority of the court specified, however, that its decision does not apply to those who are currently incarcerated because of a sex offense. In a concurring opinion, one of the three appellate judges stated that he believes CDCR is authorized to deny the benefits of Prop. 57 to anyone currently incarcerated because of a sex offense.
“Today’s decision will benefit thousands of individuals convicted of a sex offense long ago who are currently incarcerated,” stated ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci. “Unfortunately, the same decision does not provide relief to many more individuals who are currently incarcerated because of a recent sex offense.”
In addition to this case, there are eight cases pending which challenge CDCR’s regulations that prohibit all registrants from receiving benefits from Prop. 57. The cases have been filed in six counties — Sacramento, Orange, Riverside, San Joaquin, Santa Clara and San Diego. Further, there is a Prop. 57 case pending before the California Supreme Court, In re Brown-Seals, Case No. S249019, in which a registrant is challenging CDCR’s denial of Prop. 57 benefits to him. The registrant filed an informal response with the court on Oct. 1, 2018, and the court is expected to issue an Order to Show Cause early this year that could require CDCR to justify its denial.