Overview of Our Prop 57 Work:
- Collected 500+ petition signatures to get Prop 57 on the Nov. 2016 ballot
- Reached more than 500 people for our Yes on Prop 57 inside-outside ‘Get Out The Vote’ strategy
- Developed Prop 57 implementation demands by surveying more than 2000 currently incarcerated people
- Mailed copies of draft Prop 57 Regulations to more than 2,700 currently incarcerated people, along with a flyer summarizing how to have their voices heard during the public comment period
- Led the #MyVoteMy57 campaign, where hundreds of directly impacted members sent letters to CDCR and legislators supporting our Prop 57 implementation demands
- Mobilized more than 50 of our members to attend Prop 57 legislative implementation hearings, lobby days, and the Prop 57 public comment hearing in Sacramento
JULY 14, 2017
CDCR released their draft Regular Regulations on how they will implement Prop 57. These Regulations are CDCR’s proposal, and the public has a right to weigh in during a 45-day written public comment period, which ended on September 1st.
SEPTEMBER 1, 2017
On Friday, Sept. 1, about 250 community members showed up to CDCR’s Prop 57 public comment hearing in Sacramento. About 100 people gave comment, and only 5 of them were comments in opposition to our demands! Our voices overwhelmed the conversation, most of them calling for CDCR to expand their implementation of the Prop 57 regulations!
Because of our hard work, CDCR has reported receiving letters from more than 8,500 individuals. According to an Aug. 31 letter CDCR wrote:
“The regulations have drawn considerable public interest and the volume of comments received to date is very large. CDCR plans to issue a re-notice and accept and respond to those comments before filing the final rulemaking package with the OAL. An extension is necessary because the CDCR has determined that changes to the Text of the Proposed Regulations are needed.”
WHAT CDCR PROPOSED:
Non-violent early parole:
- Screening for nonviolent parole eligibility began July 1, 2017
- Parole process will be a “paper process”, not a formal hearing
- Third Strikers, people with violent enhancements, or who have to register as sex offenders proposed to be excluded
- If a person is eligible, they will be notified by their counselors
- Effective May 1, 2017:
- Good time credits to be expanded from 15% to 20% for people with “violent” offenses or lifers with the possibility of parole
- Good time credits to be expanded from 20% to 33% for people with “serious” offenses
- Two-for-one good time credits awarded to people already eligible for fire camps, 50% credits for people with violent offenses who go to fire camps
- Effective August 1, 2017:
- Everyone (except people on death row and LWOP) eligible for Milestones, earn a max of 12 weeks per year
- Completion of 208 hours of Inmate Leisure Time Activity Groups (ILTAG) will earn additional 4 weeks off per year
- One-time retroactive 3 month credits will be awarded for earning HS diploma or GED
- One-time retroactive 6 month credits will be awarded for earning AA, BA, Postgraduate degree, or Offender Mentor Certification Program
WHAT WE DEMANDED:
Based on our Prop 57 Survey results and in partnership with Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB), we developed the following recommendations in response to the draft Emergency Regulations, and they are the same for these Regular Regulations:
- Allow all people in prison to earn 50% good time credits,
- Make all good time credit earning retroactive,
- Include Third Strikers in the non-violent early parole,
- Award retroactive Education Merit Credits for each achievement, and
- Allow every person with a Youth Offender Parole Date or Elderly Parole Date to earn time off of their earliest parole date.
WHAT WE DID:
- Mobilized the public to send written comments to CDCR!
- Mobilized the public to come out to the Prop 57 Regulations Hearing at the State Capitol!
- Made our voices heard!
On Nov. 29, CDCR released the long-awaited, final draft of the Prop 57 Regulations. Initiate Justice met with CDCR Secretary Scott Kernan personally, where he told us that they received 41,000 comments from more than 12,000 individuals, and that most of the comments asked for credit earning to be made retroactive, for Third Strikers to be included in non-violent early parole consideration, and credits to come off of people’s Youth Offender Parole Dates.
Despite this incredible outpouring of support from the community, CDCR is NOT planning on making any of those recommended changes. Rather, they are making small, technical, and clarifying changes such as allowing people in prison to re-take certain Milestone eligible programs and clarifying that people in Administrative Segregation and the SHU are eligible for credit earning (unless they have other restrictions). The full text of the updated regulations can be read here.
We are beyond disappointed that CDCR chose not to support what the people called for in implementing Prop 57. But, even though we did not win our demands, this campaign has still been a victory for the people, and we will continue to fight!
Because the people stood up, CRCD had to read through more than 41,000 comments and will be sending responses to more than 12,000 people!
Because the people stood up, the good things about the Prop 57 Regulations were upheld, despite the opposition’s efforts to undo them!
Because the people stood up, CDCR has been reminded that people in prison and their loved ones will continue to be at the front of the fight to end mass incarceration and keep our communities safe!
Initiate Justice is going to continue to work to build the power of people in prison and their loved ones. Breaking down this oppressive system will not happen overnight, and it will only help when the people most impacted by incarceration stand up and stand together!