A new technology under development aims to make safe prison releases more efficient, reported KCRA.
The non-AI, data-driven tool would automate the process of reviewing an incarcerated person’s rehabilitation files as part of “second-chance” laws that allow county prosecutors to recommend post-conviction resentencing, which often triggers the person’s release from prison.
The technology is being developed by the UC Berkeley Possibility Lab in collaboration with the nonprofit group For the People. The technology will be first put to use in a pilot program in Yolo County, where District Attorney Jeff Reisig has already completed the successful resentencing of 15 people, with the agreement of victims.
However, Reisig said an incarcerated person’s files can take a prosecutor upwards of a dozen hours to process and review.
“This program will do it in a click of a button,” Reisig said. “This program from UC Berkeley will increase the speed of the process, save taxpayer dollars and hopefully result in more cases being considered.”
Examples of cases considered for resentencing include serious crimes committed when a person was a juvenile or older drug charges, the report noted.
Nina Salarno Besselman, president of Crime Victims United, said she supports the data automation and also wants to make sure victims’ wishes are taken into consideration in any resentencing.
Reisig emphasized that he is a supporter of victim’s rights and public safety, and the new tool makes sense under those considerations.
“I’m one of those loud voices saying, ‘We’re letting too many people out from prison who are not rehabilitated.’ I’m one of those voices who’ve said zero bail has been a bad policy, and I haven’t been shy about that. This is a different take. This is a different policy,” he said.