Locking up criminals and throwing the away the key can be cruel and inhumane, especially when offenders committed their offenses as minors. Second chances are possible under a new law by Assemblymember Phil Ting that took effect on January 1, 2019. AB 2942 gives local prosecutors the discretion to review the cases of inmates whose prison sentences are excessively long and whose continued incarceration is no longer in the interest of justice.
While public safety remains a key priority, emerging research supports changing tough-on-crime policies. A University of Chicago report, for instance, found longer prison sentences have marginal effects on reducing recidivism. In addition, results from a separate study by the Brennan Center for Justice indicate that prison sentences could by shortened by 25% across the board without a negative effect on public safety.
The Sentence Review Project was created to serve as the clearinghouse for people in prison and/or their loved ones to submit an application for the local district attorney to review. Qualifications include:
- Complete rehabilitation
- At least half of their sentence must have been served
- No longer poses a public safety threat
For more information or to submit an application, please visit: www.sentencereview.org.
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