The California Corrections Department will allow an early release for 76,000 inmates including violent offenders citing their good behavior behind bars.
Around 63,000 prisoners serving time for violent crimes had their sentences shortened by one-third due to the good behavior credits. Some of them are serving life sentences.
“The goal is to increase incentives for the incarcerated population to practice good behavior and follow the rules while serving their time, and participate in rehabilitative and educational programs, which will lead to safer prisons,” the department spokeswoman Dana Simas said.
“Additionally, these changes would help to reduce the prison population by allowing incarcerated persons to earn their way home sooner.”
But Kent Scheidegger, the legal director of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation that represents victims was outraged by the decision.
“You don’t have to be good to get good time credits. People who lose good-time credits for misconduct get them back, they don’t stay gone. They could be a useful device for managing the population if they had more teeth in them. But they don’t. They’re in reality just a giveaway.”