Plumas County District Attorney David Hollister announced on Dec. 29, 2021, that he and 27 other elected District Attorneys across California have been granted a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) preventing the California Department of Corrections (CDCR) from enacting an increase of 50 percent credits to 66 percent credits for second-strikers with serious and violent criminal histories.
This newest and latest “emergency regulation” comes after CDCR’s recently enacted “emergency” regulations which allowing for additional credits to be awarded to serious and violent felons, including credits not based upon completing any rehabilitation programs.
While CDCR’s newest regulations grant additional good conduct credits to inmates working in fire camp related activities, they also added additional credits to “nonviolent” second strikers. Unrelated to fire camp credits, CDCR sought to increase credits to 66 percent conduct credits – this means a person sentenced to prison on a felony who previously committed a serious or violent felony would have only had to served 1/3 of their sentence. This new class of credits would have applied to felons convicted of domestic violence, human trafficking, animal cruelty and possession of weapons by individuals with criminal records including serious and violent felonies such as murder, rape and robbery.
In order to stop CDCR from engaging in their early release “emergency regulation,” the 28 DAs filed a TRO on Dec. 22, 2021. On Dec. 29, 2021, the Superior Court of California, in and for the county of Sacramento, granted the DAs’ petition and issued the TRO against CDCR.
Hollister joined Sacramento County DA Anne Marie Schubert who noted, “Many of these so-called ‘nonviolent’ second-strikers have long and violent criminal histories including repeat felony domestic violence convictions, sexual assaults and gun violence. Releasing these dangerous inmates after serving a small fraction of their sentences not only lacks accountability, it shortens effective rehabilitation, violates victims’ rights and is a significant threat to public safety. No one is contesting good conduct credits for fire camp work, but sneaking in another class of individuals with serious and violent histories goes too far.”
Plumas County DA Hollister further noted his concern for the abuse of “emergency regulations” as in this case where the allocation of conduct credits, normally accomplished through acts of legislation by our elected representatives, was being unilaterally imposed by the CDCR – a state bureaucracy led by an appointee not subject to the electorate.