The lovely state of California is giving 76,000 inmates, including violent and repeat felons, the opportunity to leave prison earlier as the state is now aiming to further trim the population of what was one the nation’s largest state correctional system.
Over 63,000 inmates convicted of violent crimes will be eligible for good behavior credits that shorten their sentences by one-third instead of one-fifth that had been in place since 2017.
This includes nearly 20,000 inmates who are serving life sentences with the possibility of parole.
The new rules went into effect on Saturday, but it could be months to years before any inmates go free.
The goal corrections officials say, is to reward inmates who better themselves while critics claim the move will no doubt endanger the public.
With the new change, more than 10,000 prisoners convicted of a second serious but nonviolent offense under the state’s “three strikes” law will be eligible for release after serving half their sentences.
“The goal is to increase incentives for the incarcerated population to practice good behavior and follow the rules while serving their time, and participate in rehabilitative and educational programs, which will lead to safer prisons,” department spokeswoman Dana Simas said in a statement.
“Additionally, these changes would help to reduce the prison population by allowing incarcerated persons to earn their way home sooner,” she said.
Kent Scheidegger, legal director of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation that represents crime victims, said the notion that the credits are for good behavior is a misnomer.
“You don’t have to be good to get good time credits. People who lose good time credits for misconduct get them back, they don’t stay gone,” he said. “They could be a useful device for managing the population if they had more teeth in them. But they don’t. They’re in reality just a giveaway.”
Thanks to our friends at The Epoch Times for contributing to this article.