Block bill to streamline detention for probation violators signed by governor

Press Release Senator Marty Block

Sacramento – A proposal allowing probation department to detain adult probation offenders for up to 10 consecutive days without revoking probation or removing offenders from their local communities was approved today by the governor.

The streamlining measure, SB 266, was authored by state Senator Marty Block.

SB 266 allows probation departments to use “flash incarceration” to hold offenders accountable with less disruption to work, home, or treatment programs.

“Flash incarceration has proved itself to be an effective sanction to supervise Post Release Community Supervision offenders,” Block said. “Probation departments are supervising more offenders under realignment, and it’s essential that we give them all the tools necessary to perform effectively.”

If an offender does not agree to flash incarceration upon violating a condition of probation, the department may file a declaration or revocation request with the court for purposes of a traditional revocation hearing. This would allow offenders to have their case heard in a court proceeding if they wish. SB 266 also prohibits probation from being denied for refusal to choose flash incarceration over the traditional probation revocation process. The proposal requires that the public defender, court, sheriff, and district attorney be notified upon imposition of flash incarceration and includes a sunset date of Jan. 1, 2021.

“This is an important step for creating a public safety system that protects our communities though swift and certain sanctions in addition to evidence based rehabilitation programs,” said Chief Mark Bonini, President of the Chief Probation Officers of California. “Flash incarceration gives probation an additional tool that holds people accountable but does so in a way that still keeps them connected to rehabilitation programs, employment and family – which is a critically important piece to lowering recidivism and keeping our communities safe. We thank Senator Block for his commitment and leadership on this important issue for our communities.”

SB 266 received bipartisan support in the Legislature and was sponsored by the Chief Probation Officers of California. It was also supported by the California State Sheriffs’ Association and California Probation, Parole and Correctional Association.

The Chief Probation Officers of California, are an association of all 58 counties with a shared identity as law enforcement leaders. We are committed to a research-based approach to public safety that promotes positive behavior change. Our leadership guides policy and practice in the areas of prevention, community-based corrections, secure detention and direct human services. Our goal is to prevent crime and delinquency, reduce recidivism, restore victims and promote healthy families and communities. We proudly serve our Counties and Courts.