California has been dealing with the issue of prison overcrowding for the past several years. During that time, the state has passed various laws to help reduce the prison population. With prison overcrowding still an issue, California Governor Jerry Brown recently passed two new laws that affect some of the oldest prison inmates and those who committed crimes at a young age.
The Elderly Parole Program (AB 1448)
One of the new laws passed in California helps inmates 60 years old or older seek release from custody. Assembly Bill 1448, introduced by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, establishes the Elderly Parole Program, which aims to reduce the expensive costs of housing elderly inmates with health issues.
The program makes some prisoners who are 60 years old or older and have served a minimum of 25 years in prison eligible for parole. Offenders who are not eligible to seek parole under the Elderly Parole Program include anyone who was sentenced:
- Under California’s Three Strikes law
- To life in prison without the possibility of parole
- To the death penalty, OR
- Based on a conviction of first-degree murder of a peace officer
The parole board will review the suitability for parole for any eligible inmates. Under the law, the board must consider whether the “age, time served, and diminished physical condition” of the inmate have reduced his or her risk of committing future violence.
Analysts say nearly 2,300 older prisoners would quality for parole consideration under this new law.
Youth Offender Parole Hearings (AB 1308)
On the opposite end of the age spectrum is Assembly Bill 1308, introduced by Assemblyman Mark Stone. This recently passed law aims to give a second chance to offenders who committed a crime when they were young.
California’s current youth parole program allows inmates who were under the age of 23 when they committed a crime to be considered for parole after serving at least 15 years in prison. AB 1308 raises that age to 25 years old or younger.
“Certain areas of the brain, particularly those affecting judgment and decision-making, do not develop until their early to mid-20s. To say that young people aren’t salvageable is a crime in and of itself,” said Senator Steven Bradford.
According to studies, this law will create an additional 170 parole hearings per year.
Contact the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
If you are convicted of a crime, you do not have to give up on your case. You may be eligible for post-conviction relief that could lead to you being released from custody. You should speak to an experienced criminal defense lawyer about your options now.
At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled and knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys have over 35 years of experience successfully helping our clients obtain post-conviction relief. Let us help you now.
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