Bill To Allow Rehab Class Credits For County Prisoners Moves Forward

May 30, 2013

Holly Mitchell measure would let some inmates learn-to-earn shorter sentences

Sacramento -- Assemblymember Holly J. Mitchell's bill, AB 624, to allow counties to give their sheriffs authority to award inmates time credits toward reduced sentences for classes taken to improve employability, literacy or social skills will be brought up for a full vote on the Senate floor next week.

Successful completion of educational, vocational or life management programs could be applied to the record of an inmate re-aligned from state prison to county jail, reducing jail time by up to six weeks in a year. Drawing bipartisan support in the Senate's Public Safety Committee on a 7-0 vote, AB 624 comes before the full Senate for a vote next week.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation currently operates a prisoner time-credit program. AB 624 is intended to offer counties, which have been required to accept realigned state prisoners in local jails, a similar opportunity to address county jail overcrowding by encouraging inmate rehabilitation and reduction of recidivism. County sheriffs currently have authority to award credit for good behavior and AB 624 will allow for the award of additional inmate program credit reductions.
Let's equip sheriffs with tools to help inmates function better before they're released back into our communities, said Assemblywoman Mitchell (D-Los Angeles). New skills, better behavior, improved employment prospects will, hopefully, reduce recidivism and make communities safer.

Contact:  Charles Stewart, (310) 482-1070