A.B. 2342 Would Prioritize Successful Reintegration Over Enforcement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

June 15, 2020

CONTACT:
Will Matthews, Californians for Safety and Justice, (909) 261-1398; will@safeandjust.org

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The state Assembly on Monday passed in a bipartisan vote a bill that would improve parole system outcomes by positioning agents to better focus on ensuring the successful reintegration of people on parole back into the community. 

The bill, A.B. 2342, authored by Asm. Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) and sponsored by a broad coalition of organizations including Californians for Safety and Justice, #cut50 and the REFORM Alliance, would reduce recidivism by incentivizing people on parole to earn their way off by completing educational, vocational and rehabilitative programs key to ensuring people are able to become contributing members of their families and communities.  

Other organizations sponsoring the bill include the Anti-Recidivism Coalition, National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform, Project Rebound, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, Root & Rebound, Underground Scholars and the Young Women’s Freedom Center. 

Research shows that public safety is improved when the length of time a person will remain on parole reflects the person’s unique circumstances and conduct, and when the parole system puts more emphasis on rewarding people on parole for their acquisition of critical life skills than punishing people for making minor mistakes. Research has demonstrated that keeping people under state supervision for longer than is necessary can actually increase the likelihood they commit another crime.  

Research also shows that once a person successfully completes the first 180 days of parole supervision, the likelihood of that person reoffending decreases dramatically. 

The following can be attributed to Jay Jordan, executive director of Californians for Safety and Justice:

“California wastes tens of millions of taxpayer dollars each year by needlessly supervising tens of thousands of people who pose little threat to the community and who have demonstrated success by not committing a crime while on parole or violating the terms of their supervision,” said Jay Jordan, executive director of Californians for Safety and Justice. “A.B. 2342 will make our justice system smarter and our communities safer by grounding the parole system in the science that shows us what works best to reduce recidivism and break the cycle of crime. The bill will also help ensure our limited resources are focused on the people on parole who are most in need of help connecting to things like treatment, housing and other supports key to ensuring successful reintegration back into the community.”