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FAMM releases statement after California Assembly passes compassionate release bill
Senate passed the bill last week, clearing a path to Gov. Newsom’s desk
SACRAMENTO – FAMM General Counsel Mary Price released the following statement after the California Assembly passed a bill that would improve the state’s compassionate release process. The California Senate passed the bill last week.
“California’s compassionate release system leaves far too many sick and dying people behind, and this bill contains improvements designed to change that.” Price said. “We’re glad to see the Assembly follow the Senate in approving this important legislation, and hope that Gov. Newsom will sign it. California should not waste its limited resources incarcerating seriously and terminally ill people who pose no threat to public safety.”
Between January 2015 and April 2021, 91 people died while awaiting compassionate release, while only 53 people were released.
AB 960 would expand compassionate release eligibility criteria, streamline the program by removing the Secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from the compassionate release decision-making process, and ensure all medically eligible incarcerated people have their day in court to determine whether they can safely be resentenced.
FAMM works on compassionate release by providing in-depth information about compassionate release laws and practice in the District of Columbia, states, and the federal system. We advocate for improved programs and assist stakeholders, policy advocates, affected families, and lawmakers interested in reforming compassionate release rules and performance. FAMM also co-sponsors the Compassionate Release Clearinghouse to ensure that eligible federal prisoners asking the court for relief are represented by trained counsel.
For more than three decades, FAMM has united the voices of affected families, the formerly incarcerated, and a range of stakeholders and advocates to fight for a more fair and effective justice system. FAMM has led the fight to reform extreme mandatory sentencing laws and to promote rehabilitation and dignity for all people in prison, 94 percent of whom will return to our neighborhoods one day.
FAMM is a national nonpartisan advocacy organization that promotes fair and effective criminal justice policies that safely reduce incarceration, save taxpayer dollars, and keep families together. Founded in 1991, FAMM has secured bold sentencing and prison reform across the country while elevating the voices of directly impacted individuals and families.