Information on California Proposition 57 (New!)

Prop 57: Early Parole for Non-Violent Criminals

On November 8, 2016, California voters voted to approve proposition 57, also known as California's Early Parole for Non-Violent Criminals and Juvenile Court Trial Requirements Initiative.

Proposition 57, or simply Prop 57, was added as a new part of the California Constitution found at Article 1, Section 32.

Prop 57 dramatically changes California adult sentencing law as well as juvenile court procedures in the following ways:

1) Per Prop 57, California prisoners convicted of non-violent felonies may apply for early release on parole after the prisoner completes the full term of any primary offense for which the prisoner was convicted.

The full term of any primary offense means the longest term of imprisonment imposed by the court for any offense, excluding the imposition of an enhancement, consecutive sentence, or alternative sentence.

Pre-existing good time credits for prison sentences on the primary offense continue to apply.

2) Prop 57 allows inmates the ability to earn more good conduct credits while in prison. The more good conduct credits the prisoner earns while in prison the earlier the prisoner may be released on parole.

Good conduct credits fall into three major categories: good behavior, educational, or rehabilitative. Good conduct credits may be used for earlier release to parole on all crimes (including violent crime), not just non-violent crimes.

3) Prop 57 allows judges, not prosecutors, to determine whether or not a minor is considered a juvenile for purposes of prosecution. The issue of whether a minor qualifies as a juvenile is determined at a transfer hearing.

Per Prop 57, to be granted early parole, all inmates, current and future, must demonstrate that they are rehabilitated and do not pose a danger to the public.

Prop 57 Procedures:

The California Board of Parole Hearings determines who is rehabilitated and therefore eligible for early release. Any prisoner approved for release will be subject to mandatory supervision by law enforcement. An inmate's petition for early release can, but not necessarily lead to the following:

The Department of Corrections can choose to have convicted felons only serve a sentence for one of their offenses (the primary offense with time off for any good time credits).
Extra enhancements can be disregarded, and a person can be released early if the California Department of Corrections feels that they should be released early.
What is a non-violent felony?:

Neither Prop 57, nor California law, defines non-violent felonies; however, violent felonies are listed in California Penal Code section 667.5. Violent felonies are also listed in this page at right. If a felony is not listed at the right of this page then the felony should be considered non-violent, and therefore, covered under the benefits of Prop 57.