By CDCR Secretary Scott Kernan
The Proposition 57 regulations were approved for permanent adoption by the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) and filed with the Secretary of State’s Office on Tuesday, May 1. This was the last step in codifying the regulations, which were implemented gradually last year after being approved on a temporary emergency status in April 2017.
Proposition 57 has been in effect for a year, and we are confident that it is sound public policy. It gives inmates in our custody the tools and resources they need while serving their time in prison to become productive members of society upon their release. Proposition 57 does not automatically release inmates from prison, but rather gives them a pathway to truly earn a second chance, while at the same time ensuring public safety and reducing recidivism.
Proposition 57 was approved by voters in November 2016 by a 2-to-1 margin. The regulations make our prisons safer by promoting education, rehabilitation and good conduct through credit-earning incentives and parole consideration for inmates serving time for nonviolent offenses. In addition, Proposition 57 will stabilize and reduce the inmate population to a level that can be sustained under a population cap ordered by a federal court.
CDCR filed emergency regulations in spring of last year, and implementation of provisions of the regulations, including the credit-earning opportunities and the nonviolent parole process, were done gradually in 2017. Specifically, the expansion of the Good Conduct Credits began on May 1, 2017; the Nonviolent Parole Process on July 1, 2017; and the credit-earnings for Milestone Completion, Rehabilitative Achievement, Educational Merit, and Extraordinary Conduct began on August 1, 2017.
From Aug. 2017 through March, around 12,000 inmates earned credit authorized by Proposition 57 toward their release date, with 1,484 of those just last month, who had an average of 102 days of earned credit. Also, as of March 31, 2018, 4,328 eligible inmates have been referred to the Board of Parole Hearings for review under the nonviolent parole process, with 879 of them approved for release and 3,449 denied.
While this has been a significant step, our work is far from done, and I would like to thank all of our stakeholders, supporters, staff and the public for all their efforts, especially as this work continues.