Friday, October 9, 2015

SB261 / SB519 passed (crime when under 23 yrs of age) Approved by Governor October 03, 2015.

Just a quick NOTE on SB261:  It will be effective January 2016.
Companion SB519, basically extends BPH deadlines by 6 months.

NOTE:  SB519 means, ISL   must have their YOPH   before Dec 31, 2017.
             SB519 means, DSL must have their YOPH   before Dec 31, 2021.
NOTE2: Be aware Senate Bill 260/261 does not apply to LWOP inmates. 

The long awaited Senate Bill 261 was signed by the Governor. It will be effective January 2016. BPH (Board) is gearing up to start these YOPH as of January 2016. This would expand the YOPH to those inmates who committed their crime before 23 yrs of age.

What does that mean to my loved one who is scheduled to go to his Parole Hearing this year (2015), but would qualify under SB261 (in 2016)?

An Inmate can go forward with the 2015 Parole Hearing or opt to Postpone his hearing for 2016. Each SB261 potential case must be looked at individually (case-by-case). The Base TERM (of incarceration) calculation is different if a parole hearing is held under the YOPH vs the regular Parole Hearing law. This is just one (1) of many factors to consider in making a choice. NOTE: BPH is only allowing a 1-year Waiver, not a postponement.

It would be wise to contact an attorney with Youth Offender Parole Hearing experience or Attorney Diane Letarte via email (Office: 619-233-3688.)

CASE and POINT example: 
There are advantages and disadvantages in each case, these factors need to be analyzed. Attorney Diane Letarte just received a GRANT of Parole for her client yesterday on 10/8/2015 at Soledad prison. The first question (at the Parole hearing) from the Commissioner was does your client want to postpone, since he qualifies under SB261, effective January 2016. After a private discussion with my client we opted to go forward without taking advantage of the SB261 law. He was 19 years old at the time of the crime. 

EVERY CASE IS DIFFERENT and must be analyzed individually to see whether postponing the hearing is the correct strategy.

As stated above: This SB261 is a little different then the SB260 in that the Indeterminate sentenced inmates (ISL) will be brought to a YOPH hearing starting January 2016 and before July 1, 2017. The DSL portion of the SB261 will be effective starting July 1, 2021.

The Determinate Sentenced inmates (DSL) will be given a Consultation hearing by a Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner (DC) to review their Central file and let the inmate know what they should be working on to prepare for their upcoming Youth Offender Parole Hearing (YOPH). The DSL inmates scheduling will basicly be lagging by 5 years before they get their YOPH. The effective date of the bill being July 1, 2021 for the DSL inmates. This delay was mostly enforced because of the SB260 Statistics accumulated during the YOPH under SB260 (2014-2015). Most DSL inmates were not properly prepared for their Parole Hearing (YOPH), thus very few received a grant of Suitability and many resources were exhausted and inmates were frustrated by the high rate of Denial of parole.

This bill is an expansion of Senator Hancock's bill from 2013, SB 260, which allowed parole hearings for those persons who committed a crime and sentenced to state prison prior to being 18 years old.