SACRAMENTO, CA - The Legislature has approved AB 965 by Assemblymember Mark Stone (D- Monterey Bay) which allows incarcerated individuals who were under the age of 26 at the time of their offense to benefit from the opportunities provided under Proposition 57.
“Proposition 57 expanded credit earning opportunities so that incarcerated people could earn time off their parole dates by working toward rehabilitation. Unfortunately people with youthful parole hearing dates have been excluded,” said Stone. “By allowing credits to be applied to youth offender parole hearing dates the state will incentivize individuals to take advantage of programs that will not only reduce the time to their parole hearing date, but prepare them to succeed beyond their incarceration.”
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation only allows credits earned under Proposition 57 to be applied to the parole hearing date that a person was initially sentenced with, and will not allow credits to be applied to youthful parole hearing dates. Therefore, youth offenders are not incentivized to participate in rehabilitative programs with the potential of going home early. For example, if someone under the age of 26 is sentenced to 100 years, they will be eligible for a youthful parole hearing after serving 25 years. However, they cannot apply their credits towards the youthful parole hearing date, but can only apply it to the original 100 year sentence.
“AB 965 will present hope and an incentive for people to invest the time and work necessary to be successful members of society. It will help reduce our prison population and reunite families while improving the safety of the institution and the community overall,” said Taina Vargas – Edmond, Co- Founder and Executive Director of Initiate Justice, a cosponsor of the measure.
The Governor has until October 13 to sign the measure.