Daily 49er

Gov. Brown announces support for prison reform legislation

Nonviolent offenders would be released earlier if legislation supported by Gov. Brown passes.

Ariana Sawyer, News Editor

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In an effort to control the court-ordered release of offenders in the overflowing California prison system, Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced his support today for legislation that would specify which prisoners could go free.

“Law enforcement and faith leaders” joined Brown in his endorsement of the amended Public Safety Rehabilitation Act of 2016, according to a statement. The initiative allows nonviolent offenders to seek parole if they have already completed the full sentence for their primary sentence and allows inmates to earn credit for good behavior.

“This initiative – through its nonviolent parole and earned-credit provisions – will help ensure that any release of rehabilitated inmates is consistent with public safety,” according to Brown in a statement.

The legislation would also emphasize education and rehabilitation for prisoners, as well as require judges to decide whether juveniles as young as 14 years old should be tried as adults.

Currently, prosecutors have 48 hours to decide the matter.

Out-of-state prisons are currently housing almost 5,000 California prisoners, and with no further action, the court will order the release of prisoners.

The measure will appear on the November 2016 General Election ballot.

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