S.B. 81 Aligned With Recommendations From Committee on Revision of the Penal Code to Improve Sentencing Fairness


October 8, 2021

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a bill clarifying how and when judges may apply sentencing enhancements. S.B. 81, authored by Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) and sponsored by Californians for Safety and Justice and others, will provide judges clear guidance on when and how to exercise their discretion to dismiss enhancements, something that has been done inconsistently because of the lack of clarity in the law. The bill codifies into law a recommendation by the Committee on the Revision of the Penal Code to improve fairness in sentencing and help ensure that penalties more closely reflect the circumstances of the crime.

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

“Unnecessary sentence enhancements do nothing to prevent crime and harm from occurring in the first place, nor do they help protect the safety and well-being of our communities. Californians from across the political spectrum continue to demand the justice system prioritize prevention over harsh sentencing and ineffective incarceration, and Gov. Gavin Newsom should be commended for signing SB 81, which is reflective of what voters want and is aligned with what science and data show are the best approaches for enhancing public safety.”