Credit to Jessica Calefati and Tracey Kaplan, Bay Area News Group – February 1, 2016 –
SACRAMENTO >> Conceding that a tough-on-crime law he signed four decades ago had failed miserably because of “unintended consequences,” Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday unveiled a ballot measure aimed at allowing nonviolent felons to seek early release and shrinking the number of juveniles tried as adults.
If voters approve the initiative in November, thousands of state prison inmates who have already completed their basic sentence and passed a public safety screening would become eligible for parole. And for the first time, offenders who complete rehabilitation programs while behind bars could earn credits for their efforts.
The measure would also allow judges rather than prosecutors to decide whether juveniles as young as 14 should be tried as adults. The judges lost that power under Proposition 21, an anti-crime measure approved by California voters in 2000.
The governor pledged to do “whatever it takes to get this done.”