Because of California’s ongoing budget crisis and overcrowded prisons; California has decided to relax parole regulations for convicted nonviolent felony offenders, including no random drug tests, travel stipulations or check-in requirements. Currently, eleven percent of the California budget goes to prison costs, accounting for $8.6 billion this year alone. Officials believe that the initiative will save $500 million the first year, helping to close the $20 billion gap. This new measure is said to reduce prison populations by reducing the number of minor California parole violations that re-imprison parolees.
According to an article from the Associated Press, around 24,000 nonviolent parolees are expected to qualify for less supervision; including many who are already on parole. Although those eligible for parole in the next year in California are required to register their addresses, parole officers are not required to conduct unannounced home visits or searches. Instead, this task will be left to local law enforcement; who have expressed fears that the deregulation would lead to an increase in crime, thereby compounding the problem.
California has the nation’s largest prison population with 167,000 inmates; this is coupled with the highest rate of sending parolees back to prison. Parole violators comprise a third of all new admissions to all California prisons. Los Angeles County, alone, has about 7,700 prisoners and parolees who are eligible for relaxed restrictions.
Non-violent crimes in Los Angeles are offenses committed without the use of physical force, including non-violent theft, forgery, embezzlement and drug crimes. If you have been charged with a non-violent crime in Los Angeles County, you should seek help from an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney. Sitkoff & Hanrahan have the knowledge and skill required to investigate your case and achieve the best possible result by providing an effective defense. Call 866-430-8383 for a free consultation and to find out more about how our aggressive attorneys can help you.