California has made major changes to comply with court orders to reduce overcrowd- ing and improve medical care in the 35 state prisons, an update report says.
Changes in rules and regulations have resulted in the state’s prison population measured at 134.8% of design capacity as of Nov. 13, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation reported.
This is the 68th report since a judge ordered the prison reduction to 137.5% of design capacity.
CDCR reported it has been in full compliance with the reduction order for four years, according to the report issued Dec. 16.
1. In the wake of Proposition 57, passed by voters in November 2016, expanded credit earning opportunities were adopted for incarcerated persons.
2. Credit earning opportunities were expanded for prisoners who achieve a high school diploma or its equivalent and /or who complete 52 hours of programming under the Rehabilitative Achievement Credit program. It went into effect on Jan. 9.
3. The office of Administrative Law approved emergency regulations for the non-violent offender parole process to distinguish between determinately sentenced offenders and implement a parole consideration process for indeterminately sentenced, non-violent of- fenders. It became policy on Jan. 1, 2019.
4. A court decision on July 9, changed CDCR policy so that the previously mandated public safety screening pro- cess to be eligible, no longer applies. All are eligible both determinately and indeterminately sentenced. Both groups will be referred to the Board of Parole Hearings for considerations, regardless of their in-prison behavior.
5. CDCR continues to implement other measures to maintain compliance, contracting for additional in-state capacity in county jails, community correctional facilities, private prisons and eliminate of out-of-state beds.
6. A parole process was adopted for medically incapacitated persons, and an elderly parole program for prisoners age 60 or older, who have served at least 25 years of incarceration.
7. Contracts are in place with the counties of San Di- ego, Los Angeles, Butte and Kern to place eligible incarcerated persons in re-entry programs.
8. California has expanded alternative custody programs for females that provide prisoners with a wide range of rehabilitative services to assist with alcohol and drug recovery, employment and social support, education and family re-unification.
Custody to Community Transitional Reentry Pro- grams (CCTRP) are housed at facilities located in San Diego, Santa Fe Springs, Bakersfield, Stockton and Sacramento, noted the report.
As of Nov. 13, 340 female prisoners are participating in the CCTRP programs. The 2019-2020 budget allocates $7.5 million for reentry facilities and will fund two new facilities in Los Angeles for 60 females prisoners.