Reisig Joins 40 Elected California DAs in Challenge of Early Release of 76,000 Incarcerated People

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By David M. Greenwald

Sacramento, CA – Sacramento DA Anne Marie Schubert announced on Thursday that she and 40 other DAs in California have filed a petition with CDCR attempting to repeal temporary emergency regulations awarding additional credits to more than 76,000 state prison inmates.  Among the signees is Yolo County DA Jeff Reisig.

Last week Governor Newsom announced that changes to Prop. 57, passed by the voters in 2016, will allow 76,000 incarcerated individuals a mechanism to be released early from state prison. Those individuals include over 63,000 people incarcerated for violent crimes who will be eligible for Good Conduct Credits that shorten their sentences by one-third, instead of the previous one-fifth.

As Newsom explained last week, “The goal is to increase incentives for the incarcerated population to practice good behavior and follow the rules while serving their time, and participate in rehabilitative and educational programs, which will lead to safer prisons… Additionally, these changes would help to reduce the prison population by allowing incarcerated persons to earn their way home sooner.”

However, Anne Marie Schubert, the Sacramento DA who is running against AG Rob Bonta in 2022, has opposed the change.

“This is wrong and dangerous for California. The Appointed Attorney General should oppose these rules that will result in thousands of dangerous inmates being released. The job of the Attorney General is to enforce the law to keep the public safe. To sit back and do nothing speaks volumes about his values towards public safety, crime victims and his ability to lead the office of the state’s top law enforcement officer,” Schubert said in a statement.

Image depicts letterhead from Sacramento DA to the CDCR Secretary Kathleen Allison

According to a release, the new regulations “were passed under a claim of an emergency and first made public on Friday April 30, 2021, at 3:00 p.m. These regulations would result in the early release of some of California’s most violent criminals.”

In adopting these regulations, and claiming an emergency, the CDCR Secretary stated these regulations were necessary to comply with “the direction outlined in the Governor’s Budget Summary” presented a year ago on May 14, 2020.

However, Schubert and the other DAs claim, “By invoking an emergency, the traditional regulatory scheme and transparent public comment period was bypassed.”

The administrative law petition is often the first step in seeking a formal court order declaring the regulations unlawful. If the emergency regulations are nullified by a court, CDCR would be forced to pass the regulations in the traditional manner, requiring the State’s Office of Administrative Law to provide greater transparency and public input.

Schubert explained, “This petition asks CDCR to repeal these regulations, begin the process anew, and allow for transparency and public input. Victims, their families, and all Californians deserve a fair and honest debate about the wisdom of such drastic regulations.”

DA Reisig issued a statement on Thursday as well, adding, “It’s one issue for CDCR to unilaterally shorten sentences which can create a danger to the public and adversely impact crime victims. But to do so without transparency, public input and without a valid and legal rationale, violates core democratic principles and due process. CDCR needs to repeal these regulations and start the process anew in a fair, just and legal manner.”

Among the notable DAs signing the letter: Vern Pierson of El Dorado County, who is the President of CDAA, Todd Spitzer of Orange County, Michael Hestrin of Riverside, Dan Dow of San Luis Obispo, Krishna Abrams of Solano, Summer Stephan of San Diego, and Joyce Dudley of Santa Barbara County.

Among the notables not signing it are the most progressive DAs, including Chesa Boudin (San Francisco), Diana Becton (Contra Costa), George Gascón (Los Angeles), Tori Verber Salazar (San Joaquin), and even Santa Clara DA Jeff Rosen and Alameda DA Nancy O’Malley.

—David M. Greenwald reporting


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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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17 thoughts on “Reisig Joins 40 Elected California DAs in Challenge of Early Release of 76,000 Incarcerated People”

  1. Keith Olsen

    Reisig Joins 40 Elected California DAs in Challenge of Early Release of 76,000 Incarcerated People

    Good for Reisig for trying to protect the people.

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      Which perfectly illustrates where the lines are drawn here.

      Reisig wants to claim being a reformer without actually being one.

  2. Tia Will

    I hope this will be remembered when Jeff Reisig tries to present himself as a progressive DA. I have no problem with DA Reisig acting according to his own beliefs and priorities. I have a lot of problem with him falsely trying to have it both ways and trying to market himself as something he clearly is not…progressive.

    1. Ron Oertel

      I have a lot of problem with him falsely trying to have it both ways and trying to market himself as something he clearly is not…progressive.

      I don’t believe that Reisig ever tried to “market himself” as progressive (using the Vanguard’s definition, at least). Pretty sure that everyone who has been paying attention at all understands that he’s not Boudin or Gascon.

    2. David Greenwald Post author

      During our webinar two weeks ago McCarty criticized Schubert while praising Reisig for being a leading reformer even though their records are indistinguishable.  Raven last fall wrote an op Ed to a similar effect.  They are clearly seeking a middle ground- not Chesa but not Schubert- but that’s not really accurate.

      1. Ron Oertel

        Don’t know that much about the minutiea of individual records, but its sounds like your argument is with the “media”, and/or “McCarty”.

        Regardless, I doubt that you’re going to win anyone over by implying hypocrisy.

        What do you think of the challenger?

        1. Ron Oertel

          perhaps you should know more about the minutiea before automatically arguing.

          What argument?

          You’re the one whose been complaining about media coverage (e.g., in a previous article).  And then, essentially establishing a straw man argument that Reisig and his supporters in the media are presenting themselves as “progressives”, apparently so that you can then call them a hypocrite.

          If one didn’t know better, I might suspect that you have some background in political science.

          But I realize this is more “fun” for some to do, than put forth actual analysis. This, by the way, is the reason that normal people hate politics.

          And if you’re going to introduce names of letter-writers (as if “everyone” should automatically know who they are), maybe you should do that in the first place, rather than blaming casual readers for not living and breathing this stuff.

          Anyone with even a casual interest and minimal knowledge would not characterize Reisig as a “progressive”, using the Vanguard’s definition.

          Again, what do you think of the challenger’s positions?

           

           

  3. Eric Gelber

    Those individuals include over 63,000 people incarcerated for violent crimes who will be eligible for Good Conduct Credits that shorten their sentences by one-third, instead of the previous one-fifth.

    I believe this is wrong. The regulations do not apply to individuals currently serving time for violent felonies—although they may have prior convictions for violent felonies.

    I don’t fault Jeff Reisig as being a hypocrite. You have to be a savvy politician to be elected 4 times in a county as politically diverse as Yolo County. He has to come across as a progressive/reformer to some voters and as a strict law and order DA to others. The fact that he’s been able to successfully do that is a tribute to his political skills and why it will be difficult to unseat him.

    1. Eric Gelber

      Clarification: I believe inmates may also be serving time for violent felonies, but the additional Good Conduct Credits apply only to their nonviolent felonies.

  4. Bill Marshall

    Given the concerns that the VG has expressed re:  Covid in prisons, I hope the releases require a 14-21 day self-quarantine… independent of any other parole/release conditions regarding criminal activity…

    The concept is to protect society and the individual, right?

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      Probably important to point out it’s not like 76,000 are being released…

      https://www.capradio.org/articles/2021/05/06/no-california-gov-newsom-did-not-just-let-76000-inmates-out-of-jail-as-recall-candidate-john-cox-falsely-claimed/

      California expanded a good behavior program last week that makes 76,000 prison inmates eligible for somewhat shorter sentences.
      Inmates must demonstrate good behavior and in some cases complete a rehabilitation program to receive a reduction.
      A state prison spokesperson said the program doesn’t include any automatic releases. She added that it will be months or years before anyone is released under this change.

    2. Bill Marshall

      Probably important to point out that anyone released (no matter how many, 1 – 79,000) should be required to self quarantine for 14-21 days, my main point, that you totally, deliberately/intentionally (?) ignored…

      Nice move tho’ to get me to use up a ‘comment’… very “poly sci”…

      1. David Greenwald Post author

        My point was that the releases will be so far in the future, that may not be the case. In addition, the vast majority of those incarcerated by been vaccinated. My response meant to fill in so details about the release.

  5. Ron Glick

    This is Kabuki. Its a bunch of Republican DA’s trying to stir it up in the hopes of getting one of their own, the Sacramento County DA, elected A.G. in 2022.

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