Gridley City Council members Monday night approved a resolution presented by Gridley-Biggs Police Chief Dean Price supporting the Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act of 2018.
A staff report submitted to Council members read, "Over the past several years a number of well-intentioned ballot measures and legislative actions have been implemented surrounding criminal justice reform and designed to focus on the overall intent of increasing opportunities for rehabilitation while lowering recidivism and incarceration rates. Those are worthy goals, but there has, however, been an unintended cumulative effect that has created impacts to our communities that we cannot ignore. Further, modification to our parole system designed to apply to non-violent offenders are set to potentially provide early release to serious domestic abusers, child sex traffickers and subjects that have committed assaults on peace officers. The initiative is designed to do the following:
1. Expands the list of violent crimes for which early release is not an option.
2. Reinstates DNA collection for certain crimes that were reduced to misdemeanors as part of Proposition 47.
3. Requires the Board of Parole Hearings to consider an inmate's entire criminal history when deciding parole, not just his/her most recent commitment offense; and requires a mandatory hearing to determine whether parole should be revoked for any parolee who violates the terms of their parole for the third time."
Chief Price's report continues, "Proponents of the initiative are currently collecting signatures to place the Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act of 2018 on the November 2018 ballot. The California District Attorney's Association and the Peace Officers Research Association of California have each publicly declared their support for the initiative. This item has been reviewed by the Police Department and is supported by staff."
A portion of the approved resolution follows, "Whereas, protecting every person in our state, including our most vulnerable children, from violent crime is of the utmost importance. Murderers, rapists, child molesters and other violent criminals should not be released early from prison; and Whereas, since 2014, California has had a larger increase in violent crime than the rest of the United States. Since 2016, violent crime in Los Angles has increased 69.5 percent. Violent crime in Sacramento rose faster during the first six months of 2015 than in any of the 25 largest U.S. cities tracked by the FBI; and Whereas, recent changes to parole laws allowed the early release of dangerous criminals by the law's failure to define certain crimes as "violent." These changes allowed individuals convicted of sex trafficking of children, rape of an unconscious person, felony assault with a deadly weapon, battery on a police officer, firefighter and felony domestic violence to be considered "nonviolent offenders'" and Whereas, As a result, these so-called "non-violent" offenders are eligible for early release from prison after serving only a fraction of the sentence ordered by a judge; and Whereas, violent offenders are also being allowed to remain free in our communities even when they commit new crimes and violate the terms of their post release community supervision, like the gang member charged with the murder of Whittier Police Officer, Keith Boyer."