An appellate court in California today upheld ACSOL’s challenge to regulations issued by the CA Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) that prohibit anyone convicted of a sex offense from receiving early parole consideration. This type of consideration was granted by Prop. 57 to all persons convicted of a non-violent offense.
In its decision, the Third Appellate District Court noted that CDCR has made “repeated attempts to exclude categories of inmates undisputedly classified as ‘nonviolent’ from early parole consideration.” The court rejected CDCR’s argument that the exclusions were necessary due to “public safety.” In fact, the decision specifically states that the appellate court rejects “the Department’s claim that the goal of public safety entitles it to contradict the unambiguous language of the Amendment (Prop. 57).”
“This decision is a significant victory for every person in custody who has been convicted of a sex offense,” stated ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci. “CDCR can longer refuse to grant those individuals early consideration for parole.”
Today’s unanimous decision by three appellate court justices affirmed the decision of a single judge in Sacramento Superior Court made in March 2018. In that Superior Court case, Judge Sumner ruled that CDCR’s regulations were inconsistent with the language of Prop. 57 as well as the intent of the voters who approved that proposition. In addition, the judge determined that CDCR’s regulations “must be set aside.”