Prisoners sentenced to death can now be transferred to other California prisons, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s website.
A newly implemented transfer program for Death Row’s incarcerated, the “Condemned Inmate Transfer Pilot Program” (CITPP), will allow qualified prisoners to be housed in general population, reported the Orange County Register.
The two-year pilot is an all-volunteer program that will provide limited job opportunities for the condemned to help pay court-ordered crime victim restitution, said the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) website.
The CITPP program was birthed by language incorporated in Proposition 66, the voter approved initiative of 2016.
Participants in the CITPP program will follow the same governing rules as other general population prisoners; however, they will acquire the classification status of a prisoner serving a sentence of Life without the Possibility of Parole (LWOP).
Volunteers for the program must not have any pending charges, been found guilty of certain disciplinary offenses within the last five years, and not be in restrictive housing because of disciplinary reasons, reported the July 28, 2021 article.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office has criticized the program, raising concerns of security if “cop killers, multiple murderers and prison gang leaders” were placed in the general prison population.
According to CDCR, staff at receiving institutions will review all case factors to determine eligibility, which include: custody level; security risks; medical, psychiatric and other program needs; along with any safety concerns and notoriety of the eligible candidate.
“It was a kick in the gut,” said Steve Herr, whose son Samuel, along with Juri “Julie” Kibuishi, was killed by a Death Row prisoner. “It would have been nice for them (CDCR) to at least notify me… If I could, I would kill him [his son’s murderer] myself. But that isn’t going to happen, so I want the harshest possible penalty.”
Proposition 66 also provides that prisoner restitution deductions for the formerly condemned increase from 50 percent to 70 percent.
CITPP participants will continue to have priority legal library and attorney visits, and telephone privileges, but will not be allowed to participate in the overnight family visit program.
Prison officials have indicated that there are currently 60 prisoners involved in the program.
“That has meaning to these families; the location, the restrictive setting, all that matters,” said Matt Murphy, a former deputy district attorney who prosecuted a CITPP participant. “We are not talking about someone who stole a car stereo. We are talking about a man who ruthlessly murdered two people so he could go on a honeymoon…”
Murphy has also raised the question as to whether or not moving condemned prisoners without notifying victims and their families violates victim’s rights.
“It’s like night and day. Like going from a Motel 6 to a Regent,” said Herr of the Death Row transfer program, reported the Register.