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Parole board accused of violating Butler settlement with lifers

In December 2013, the First District Court of Appeal approved a settlement in the case In re Butler, effective April 2014, requiring the Board of Parole Hearings to notify life-term prisoners of their “base term” — the sentence they could expect to serve because of the circumstances of their crime — at their first parole hearing. […]

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Parole boards subvert Supreme Court holding that “juvenile lifers” deserve second chances

As reported by Beth Schwartzapfel for The Marshall Project: The [Supreme Court justices] have made it clear in a series of recent rulings that “juvenile lifers,” those serving life sentences imposed when they were teenagers, must have “some meaningful opportunity to obtain” their release. But the high court has left it up to states — […]

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California Prisoners Gain Protection from Bias in their Parole Hearings!

On September 10, 2015, a class of 10,000 California prisoners reached a tentative agreement with the California Board of Parole Hearings aimed at protecting prisoners from the improper use of psychological reports when the parole board considers whether to release them from prison.  Johnson v. Shaffer (Eastern District of California, No. 2:12 -cv-1059 KJM) was filed in […]

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Parole board to set minimums for lifers

State corrections officials agreed Monday to a major change in California’s parole system that could lead to earlier releases for parole-eligible lifers. The settlement stems from a legal action filed by a prisoner at Soledad, who was sentenced to 15 years to life for a 1987 murder and claimed that his parole application was routinely and […]

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Stanford Criminal Justice Center releases third Realignment report

The Stanford Criminal Justice Center has released its third major study of the impacts of Public Safety Realignment on California counties.  The report, written by Robert Weisberg and Lisa T. Quan, is entitled “Assessing Judicial Sentencing Preferences After Public Safety Realignment: A Survey of California Judges” (click for PDF). It is available on Stanford’s Criminal […]

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ACLU report: 3,278 nonviolent offenders serving life without parole

In a new report entitled “A Living Death: Life Without Parole for Nonviolent Offenses” (click to access PDF), the ACLU spotlights  the thousands of prisoners serving life without parole sentences in the United States for nonviolent drug and property crimes.  “This report documents the thousands of lives ruined and families destroyed by sentencing people to […]

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Stanford Criminal Justice Center releases new Realignment reports

Last week, Stanford released its first major study of the impacts of Public Safety Realignment on California counties. The report, available here, is entitled “Voices From the Field: How California Stakeholders View Public Safety Realignment” by Joan Petersilia. This first report summarizes the results of 125 interviews conducted in 21 counties with stakeholders responsible for implementing AB 109. To […]

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Gov. Brown signs bill creating parole possibility for prisoners convicted as juveniles

As reported in the Sacramento Bee: Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation requiring special parole hearings for prisoners who were prosecuted as adults and sent to prison for crimes they committed as juveniles, his office announced late Monday. Senate Bill 260, by Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, will make inmates imprisoned for crimes they committed before turning 18 […]

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European Court: Life sentences without review breach human rights

As reported in the Guardian (click here for the full article): Whole-life jail sentences without any prospect of release amount to inhuman and degrading treatment of prisoners, the European court of human rights has ruled. The landmark judgment will set the ECHR on a fresh collision course with the UK government but does not mean that any of […]

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Female inmates sterilized in California prisons without approval

As posted on July 7, 2013 by the Center for Investigative Reporting: Doctors under contract with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation sterilized nearly 150 female inmates from 2006 to 2010 without required state approvals, The Center for Investigative Reporting has found. At least 148 women received tubal ligations in violation of prison rules […]

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