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Sentencing: California Governor Signs Bill To Shorten Parole for Offenders Who Take Drug Treatment

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) quietly signed a bill Saturday that will allow nonviolent offenders to get off parole early if they complete an intensive drug treatment program. Under the new law, parolees who wish to participate will be sent directly to a five-month residential treatment program. Upon graduation, they will get off parole.

The new law will take effect in January. Only nonviolent offenders will be eligible, and they must have completed at least six months of drug treatment while in prison.

Post-release parole has proven onerous for many offenders. According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, 47% of parolees are returned to prison as parole violators. These are people who committed administrative infractions -- failing to notify the parole officer of a new address or new job, coming up positive on a drug test -- not new criminal offenses. An additional 15% of parolees are returned to prison on new criminal charges. There are currently more than 116,000 people on parole in California.

Sponsored by state Sen. Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough), the bill won the support of a variety of groups, including the powerful prison guards union. "Parolees who demonstrate that level of commitment to treatment deserve recognition for their effort, union spokesman Lance Corcoran told the Los Angeles Times Wednesday. "It's a concept worth supporting," he said. "The only question is how they are going to come up with enough drug treatment beds for everybody who qualifies.

Sen. Speier told the Times she sponsored the measure because about three-quarters of the state's 172,000 inmates have drug or alcohol issues. "If we can help them conquer their addictions and get them off this treadmill of returning to prison, we'll save the taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars," Speier said.

Now the question is where the money is going to come from. The state will save $4,340 per year for each ex-convict it doesn't have to supervise. The bill signed this week does not earmark any funds for expanded treatment, but Speier suggested the savings on parole costs could pay for new beds.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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eligibility

Is an offender eligible even if s/he didn't have a drug problem to begin with, and the offense wasn't drug-related? I could see a teetotaling offender applying for the treatment pre- and post-release just because the rules would allow it.

also, I'm obviously not a

also, I'm obviously not a chicken shit and hide my email
man up and show your face if you talk shit!

PUBLIC OPINIONS AMONGEST THE CRIMINALS AND VIOLATORS

THE OPTION FOR PAROLE VIOLATORS AND OR FELONS TO JOIN A PROGRAM FOR 5 MONTHS UPON GRADUATION OF COMPLETING PAROLE MAY GIVE HOPE TO THOSE WHOM FEEL IT COULD NEVER HAPPEN. MANY FELONS I'VE AND STILL DO ASSOCIATE WITH ARE VERY DOUBTFUL OF BEING ABLE TO COMPLETE PAROLE BECAUSE OF THE PAROLE OFFICERS THAT DON'T CARE ABOUT TRYING TO HELP . THEY'RE JUST LOOKING FOR THE NEXT VIOLATION THAT WILL INACT UPON ANYTHING THAT WILL PUT THESE PRISIONERS BACK IN JAIL. MANY HAVE BEEN VIOLATED FOR USE OF METH OR HAVING IT IN THEIR POSSESION. THOUGH HELP IS NOT OFFERED NOR OPTIONAL BY THESE PAROLE AGENTS. A VIOLATION IS THE FIRST STEP TAKEN.

NUMEROUS MATTERS OF CONVICTS ON PAROLE HAVE NOT COMMITTED NOR ACTED UPON THE USE OF METH. SOME ARE JUST JUDGED BY THEIR PAST. I'M NOT STATING NOR WOULD EVER JUSTIFY THE ACTS OF A CHILD MOLESTER , A UNREASONABLE MURDER, KIDNAPPER, OR RAPIST. THOSE TYPES OF CRIMINALS SHALL NEVER HAVE ANY TYPE OF RIGHT TO OPTIONS OF GETTING OFF PAROLE. I ALSO AM NOT JUSTIFYING THAT ANYONE WHOM USES METH IS ACCEPTABLE. WHAT I DO AGREE WITH IS THAT ALL THESE CRIMINALS THAT ARE MOSTLY IN THERE FOR DRUG CHARGES OR USAGE SHOULD BE ABLE TO SEEK REHABILITATION. IF THEY CANT COMPLETE THE PROGRAM MAYBE ONE STEP DOWN FROM PAROLE (FELONY PROBATION) CAN BE ANOTHER WAY OF STILL KEEPING THEM MAINTAINED IF THEY DECIDE TO LACK THE HOPES OF GETTING OFF PAROLE.

I HAVE A FRIEND WHOM IS ON THE RUN BECAUSE HE WAS PULLED OVER WHILE ON PAROLE. THE POLICE FOUND 1 BAG OF MSM AT THE TIME OF HIS ARREST. WHEN TAKEN INTO CUSTODY LATER THEY FOUND ANOTHER BAG WHICH HAPPEN TO BE DETERMINED AS METH. THOUGH THIS PAROLEE HAD BEEN ARRESTED WITH 5 YEARS IN FOR COOKING METH THE CHARGE FOR HIS ARREST AND VIOLATION IS FOR HIM TO BE SENTENCED 15 YEARS IN THE FEDERAL STATE PRSION BECAUSE WHAT HE HAD BEEN CAUGHT WITH WAS HIS OWN PERSONAL USE. THOUGH HE DESERVED THE 5 YEARS THAT HE WAS SENTENCED HE GOT OUT ESTABLISHED A JOB AND WAS TO BE OFF PAROLE THIS YEAR OF SEPTEMBER. THEN HE CAME IN CONTACT WITH THE POLICE DUE TO A HOME INVASION THEY SUSPECTED WAS HIM. THE LAWYER WHOM REPRESENTED HIM FOUGHT IN COURT ALL THE WAY THROUGH TRIAL ON THE PAROLEES BEHALF OF INNOCNENCE. LATER HE WAS FOUND NOT GUILTY. THE PAROLE OFFICER STILL VIOLATED HIM AND HE LOST HIS JOB, HIS HOME, HIS HOPE, AND FREEDOM TO TRY AND CONTINUE TO DO RIGHT. HE HAD ONLY 8 MONTHS LEFT OF PAROLE. NOW HE 'S FACING 16 YEARS BECAUSE THAT IS THE DEAL THAT THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY HAS OFFERED FOR THE VIOLATION OF HAVING METH IN HIS POSSESSION.
THE VAL NIVEA RIGHTS ARE NOT AN OPTION FOR HIM BASED ON HIS PAST CRIMINAL HISTORY. I DO HOPE THAT MAYBE THIS NEW LAW WILL BE COMPLIED FOR PAROLEES LIKE HIM. I ALSO FEEL THAT SINCE MANY OF THESE UNFORTUNATE SITUATIONS OCCUR AS FAR AS LOOSING THEIR JOBS, THEIR PLACE TO LIVE, THEIR FAMILIES ETC. ANOTHER PROGRAM OFFERED LIKE JOB PLACEMENT AND A CERTAIN TYPE OF SECTION 8 THAT CAN BE OFFERED AS WELL. ONCE THE REQUIREMENTS OF PAROLE HAVE BEEN ESTABLISHED IN ORDER TO SUCCESSFULLY AQUIRE THAT IT TAKES ALOT OF EFFORT TO EVEN GET AS FAR AS HAVING A JOB AND A STABLE PLACE TO LIVE. BUSINESSES ARE SO LEARY OF EVEN HIRING SOMEONE ON PAROLE , OR ALLOWING THEM A PLACE TO RENT IS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE. WHY, SHOULD THEY HAVE TO KEEP SUFFERING AND OWE THEIR LIFES TO THE STATE FOR CRIMES THAT AREN'T COMMITTED OR THAT INVOLVE USE OF DRUGS. EVENTUALLY, WHEN ALL HOPE FAILS THEN THEY HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO DO EXACTLY WHAT THEY'RE EXPECTED. THEYRE GOING TO DO THE TIME REGARDLESS SO WHY NOT STEAL A CAR, ROB A STORE, WHATEVER IT TAKES FOR THEM TO EAT, SLEEP, PROVIDE MONEY FOR THEIR FAMILIES OR THEMSELVES. HONESTLY THAT 'S WHY MOST CRIMES ARE COMMITTED. AT LEAST 70% OF THE PAROLEES DID THE WHOLE GETTING A JOB, HAVING A HOUSE AND A CAR AND IT WAS LOST ONCE THEY WENT TO JAIL. MOSTLY FOR THE PETTIEST CRIMES. THEY DO THE TIME AND WHEN THEY GET OUT IT'S THE SAMETHING OVER AND OVER THEIR NOT GOING TO TRY TO DO RIGHT AGAIN .ONCE IN THE SYSTEM ALWAYS IN THE SYSTEM.

Getting treatment rather than time

I couldnt agree more with the articlei just read. So many parole violators are going back for the same crime and receiving even more lengthy sentences for those repeat rimes when the obvious solution is staring the parole officers and the prosecutors right in the face! Just because a parole didnt get caught with drugs doesnt meab they dont have a drug problem! MOST OF THETIME THE CRIMES ARE COMMITED TO SUPPORT THE DRUG HABIT! mOST PAROLE/CRIMINALS ARE NOT GOING TO GET CAUGHT CARRYING DRUGS BUT RATHER GET CAUGHT COMMITTING THE CRIME TO GET THEM!. My boyfriend was in the procvess of being discharged from parole. His parole officer hadnt contacted him for 8 months and then took his time processing his paperwork. With the discharge papers in the works, my boyfriend picked up a new GTA charge which obviously violated him, HOWEVER, THERE WERE NO DRUGS FOUND IN THE CAR!!! So that makes him ineligible for ay drug treatment alternatives! If the officers would have searched the car they would have found the drugs. Now he is goig back to prison prob. for at least 3 years and for what? To only come out and do the same thing over and over and over? He needs treatment for his addiction. Addiction is a disease and it is medically classified as such. As with any disease, if it is left untreated, it can be fatal or as with many cases ens in a return to prison. There are some criminals that "work" the system and intentionally abuse the programs available to shorten their jail time.

Prison

As long as there are humans who bring charges or sentence there will be overcrowded prisons. As long as there is racism, bias or some form of discrimination which has an origin since the beginning of time,there will be no justice. And as long as the judicial system is given over extreme supervisory power, we will see mental cases with offenders who too derive from either military background or who have affected their children from their over exposure of war.

Our judicial system, is only concern with incarceration; old laws that are designed to charge not reason with the person thought. It has long been an area that should have professional mental staff in support.

Surely, we need not talk about parole or probation officer, they are just trying to convict-recognition again.

Hey Fucking Arnold!!

I just read about all the home invasions taking place in California. Why don't you see to it that these violent scumbags are put away forever!! Sign a bill and call it the The Cali Home Invasion Life with no parole Bill!!!

Finally...some common sense.

As a parolee, I appreciate the opportunity to be able to have some say in my life going forward. I am on parole after serving more than 5 years of a 9 year term for possession with intent to sell. While in prison, I volunteered for and successfully completed two in-prison programs totalling a year each, and one transitional treatment program when I had 90 days until parole. The bill which the Governor signed puts the responsibility where it belongs-with the offender. If I want a better life for myself, as well as my family going forward, I need to make decisions that reflect my intentions. I applaud Sen. Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough) and the Governor for providing this opportunity to participate in my own recovery going forward.

is there a new law ?

is this 35% for nonviolent offenders in effect or am i wrong?

ARNOLD HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT!!!!

COME ON LETS CUT THE B.S. STOP POINTING FINGERS. YEAH I KNOW THE JUSTICE SYSTEM IS F*CKED. BE TOTALLY HONEST WITH YOURSELF. IF YOU WANT OFF DRUGS OR TO STAY OUT OF PRISON. IT IS UP TO YOU WITH OR WITHOUT HELP."YOU" HAVE TO WORK AND CHANGE YOUR LIFE. YOU HAVE TO CHANGE YOUR BELIEFS. STOP BLAMING OTHERS. YOU PUT YOU IN YOUR SITUATION. I AM A SINGLE MOTHER OF FOUR, WHO IS NOW DISCHARGED OFF OF PAROLE FOR 2 YEARS NOW. NO WARRANTS, NO ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES, AND NO DRUGS. FROM AN EARLY AGE OF 14 I ENTERED THE "SYSTEM" STARTING WITH GROUP HOMES, CAMPS, Y.A. I HAVE BEEN TO PRISON 3 TIMES ON NEW COMMITS. AND ONCE FOR A VIOLATION. WHAT COULD I SAY I LOVE MONEY AND WHITE COLLAR CRIMES ARE EASY. BUT I HAVE CHANGED MY LIFE. MY GRANDMOTHER ALWAYS TOLD ME IT WOULD TAKE A TRAGIC EVENT FOR ME TO OPEN MY EYES. SADLY TO SAY SHE WAS RIGHT. I WAS IN PRISON WHEN SHE PAST, I GAVE BIRTH TO A TILLBORN LITTLE GIRL IN THERE ALSO. I'M NOT GONNA THRASH TWIN TOWER'S MEDICAL STAFF FOR IT WOULD TAKE ME ABOUT 2 HOURS TO FINISH WITH THEM. BUT I MADE A PROMISE THAT IF I EVER MAKE IT OUT OF THERE ALIVE. I WOULD NEVER SEE THE INSIDE OF THOSE WALLS AGAIN. CURRENTLY I VOLUNTEER AT SEVERAL GIRLS HOME TO HELP OUR YOUNGER GENERATION CHANGE THEIR WAY OF THINKING AND BEHAVING. IF THE MOTHERS AND FATHERS THAT ARE IN THE STREETS LIVING THAT FAST LIFE AND IN JAIL REGRETTING THEY EVEN TRIED TO LIVE THE FSAT LIFE, WOULD TAKE THE TIME TO TALK TO, NOURISH, LISTEN TO, AND BE THERE FOR THEIR OFF SPRINGS. WE WOULDN'T HAVE A JUVENILE SYSTEM THAT IS SO PACKED IT'S READY TO POP. FOR YOU WHO READ THIS THANK YOU. I HOPE I TOUCHED SOMEONE. [email protected], LONG BEACH CA.

try this one

I live in Texas and was sentenced twice on the same case, what is that law called??? Double Jeoperdy? anyways this offense that I was sentenced to was in 1993 for possession of marijuana. I was 17 years old at the time. The judge and other officials knew that I took the blame for my mother so that she wouldn't go back to prison. no use crying over spilled mild huhh? so I was placed on probation for 10 years. I reported to my officer for 7 straight years without every having any problems until I fell in love and followed him. I moved to another city and I got revoked for it. When I went to court to see my punishment they gave me 5 years TDC. Meaning I was going to prison for 5 years with the possibility of Parole. My dumb lawyer told me that I wouldn't be there more than a year. He came back to me 2 months later and told me that the DA had made a mistake and It was in my favor this time around. We went back to court and this time the judge sentenced me for 10 years on the same case. I was lost. I did two years inside and was released on 8 years supervision. I don't do drugs, I don't go out and I feel as though I am the model parolee by putting myself on house arrest. Still with all said and done my parole officer refuses to see me as a human bein she still has me reporting 3 times a month and is always telling me that i should just quit pretending to be a saint. I don't know about the rest of the people but I need a chance like the one the bill gives parolees. I am really tierd of being pushed around all of my adult life. 17-31 and still counting. I am prove that there are good people who deserve a chance.

eligibility

My girlfriend and I are in the process of moving to California. She is on parole in Ms for dui charges, if her parole officer allows us to move she would then be on parole in California. Would she be eligible for this program, having met all the requirements in Ms.

parole in california

I am and always have been a resident of Arizona. I went to california on vacation "my bad" with my ex to discover an awaiting meth addiction which led to theft to support a habit. I was arrested for possesion of stolen property sentenced to 3 yrs prison, got out and the parole dept would not let me come home to az with my family, we paid the $1500.00 fines and were told 45 days till transfer. 60 days later no transfer called parole dept in AZ. and were told they were waiting on california, 4 months later still the same. gave up got job rented apt. ended up in parole sweep the parole dept came in and searched my apt found nothing but a 2 and a quarter inch work knife in my tool box. violated my parole and sent me back to prison 6 months. I got out and obsconded home, I figured that I would try to use Az to fight california so I commited a small crime at home turned myself in and requested the max sentence,"at least I'm home right" california ran my violation concurrent and then they were 2 weeks late releasing me. California put out another warrent for my arrest for failure to report and the extradition officer was there to take me when I walked out. Violation 1 yr elig. Got out again tried to do things right. bought a car,ext asked for transfer again this time denied. no reason! 1 month later guy hits me I hit back some one calls police agrravated assault, prison prior 5 yrs got out asked for transfer paid another 1800.00 for it same runnaround aftre 7 month absconded came home started my own business, bought house, drive 2 mercedes benzes have kids and a good life please some one get me off this california control. its not about the community or the punishment of crimes its all about the taxpayers money most of us are trying I proved I could make it and am doing it with a warrent for my arrest but i'm still just a number making a state employee money. I've been on the run for 3 and a half years now. Just waiting for a new law to get me out so I can be a human. P.s In Az. it's still legal to defend youself in a fight I did not hit him first.

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