Prison guards face harsher sentences in California
Prison guards facing harsher sentences will face new mandatory minimum sentences under a proposal in California, the Associated Press reports.
The bill passed in the Assembly last week, with Republican Assemblyman Tom Ammiano supporting it.
In the Senate, Democrats have been trying to block the measure for months.
The California Public Defender’s Office would take over the task of defending prisoners in prison, and a panel of experts would determine if there are other options to ensure their safety.
A state-appointed monitor would also review any sentences and make recommendations to the parole board, which would have discretion on whether to release the prisoner.
Ammiano says the bill would reduce the risk of dangerous inmates getting released and ensure their continued protection.
He says it would also make corrections more humane by allowing inmates to request psychological evaluations, psychological counseling and other services before they are released.
In California, a prisoner must spend at least one year in prison before being released from jail.
A judge can set longer sentences if there is no mitigating circumstances.
The state has a population of about 1.4 million people, and more than two-thirds of them are inmates, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.