This legislation is a direct response to the increasing threat that California communities face as a result of multiple criminal justice reform measures geared toward decriminalization and reduced penalties for illegal activity.
Increased and sustained theft crimes have long been a reality in the wake of 2011’s AB 109, 2014’s Proposition 47, which changed a host of felony offenses to misdemeanors, and Prop. 57 from just last year, which altered the rules on charging juveniles as adults and ushered in other changes related to earning time off a sentence in state prison.
In February 2017, a violent incident in Whittier involving offenders on post-release community supervision (PRCS), which resulted in the death of a police officer and the wounding of another, revealed deficiencies in how such offenders are monitored, tracked and disciplined. The Whittier officers were involved in a shooting with ex-offenders, at least one of whom had previously violated the terms of his PRCS three times.
Among the deficiencies in current law that contributed to the Whittier tragedy are inadequate guidance in responding to those who are multiple violators of the terms of their supervision once released, rules that prevent the Parole Board from considering an inmate’s entire criminal history in determining whether to grant parole, and a system that fails to share with local law enforcement pertinent information regarding an inmate’s record of supervision while under the jurisdiction of the Parole Board.
AB 1408 addresses those deficiencies by imposing the following changes:
- Increases offender data in regard to the record of supervision that the Department of Corrections must share with local law enforcement for offenders under post-release community supervision;
- Mandates the state Parole Board to take an offender’s entire criminal history into consideration in weighing whether to grant parole — not just his or her most recent commitment offense; and
- Requires modification/revocation of community supervision for offenders who have already violated the terms of post-release community supervision three times, and prohibits lesser interim sanctions.
The League is pleased to support this measure, which has enjoyed strong bipartisan support in its path through the Legislature and is eligible for a vote on the Assembly Floor this week.
Cities are urged to call their assembly members immediately to voice their support for this measure.
A sample letter, along with the League’s support letter is available at www.cacities.org/billsearch
by plugging AB 1408 into the search function.