Tripp Laino, 202-999-4273
FAMM releases statement after Gov. Newsom signs compassionate release bill
SACRAMENTO – FAMM General Counsel Mary Price released the following statement after California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill that would improve the state’s compassionate release process. The bill passed the Senate and Assembly in August.
“This is a great step forward for California and for debilitated and dying people incarcerated in state prisons, who are among the most expensive to incarcerate and the least likely to reoffend” Price said. “They now have a chance to spend their final days with loved ones and California can use the savings to pursue other avenues of improving 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.