CPOC Endorses Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act of 2016

Press Release

Sacramento – Today, the Chief Probation Officers of California (CPOC) announced their support for the “Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act of 2016,” the initiative backed by Governor Jerry Brown now in signature gathering efforts for the November ballot. 

“We are proud to join Governor Brown and leaders throughout the state to support the Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act of 2016,” said Chief Mark Bonini, CPOC president. “This measure will protect public safety. We know that people coming out of prison who do not participate in programs have a much higher rate of re-offending. Doing nothing with them while in prison only creates more victims and more costs to our prison system. If we are serious about cutting recidivism, we must have a system that implements what we know works; evidence-based programs based on correctional science and given the proper resources are the only way to protect public and reduce recidivism.”

The main policies within the measure are: 

  • Authorizes parole consideration for nonviolent inmates who complete the full sentence for their primary offense.
  • Allows inmates to earn credits for good behavior, education and rehabilitative achievement.
  • Requires judges rather than prosecutors to decide whether juveniles as young as 14-years-old should be tried as adults. 

“California probation officers are on the front lines every day in every community of California,” said Governor Brown. “They know what it takes to turn lives around and protect public safety. I welcome their support.”

California’s prisons are currently under a court-ordered population cap. With prison population estimated to grow and almost 5,000 inmates housed in out-of-state prisons, without further action, the court will order the release of prisoners.  This measure, which is expected to be on the November 2016 ballot, will help ensure that any release of inmates will be non-violent offenders who have invested in rehabilitation services to better prepare them for release into the community.  Studies show prisoners who take part in services are much less likely to reoffend. 

“Realignment gave us a great start to work towards a system that rehabilitates non-violent offenders while still holding them accountable,” continued Bonini. “But it is missing a critical piece that this proposal seeks to resolve. We need a system that from beginning to end provides the opportunity and incentives for non-violent offenders to turn their lives around through proven programs that protect public safety.”

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.