State Parole Violations & Revocations
Under AB 109, California’s “Realignment” law, there were major changes to the procedures required for California state parole revocations. These changes took effect on July 1, 2013. The new rules for revocation hearings laws are explained in this section.
How did Realignment Change the way parole revocation hearings work (as of July 1, 2013)?
- CHANGE TO WHO HEARS THE CASE
The biggest change is that local county superior courts will now hear most parole revocation cases. Before July 1, 2013, the Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) was responsible for hearing all parole revocation cases, and now that responsibility has mostly shifted to the courts. Superior court judges will hear these cases in state court. One idea behind this change was to create more transparency and fairness by having independent, unbiased judges hear the cases and weigh the evidence.
NOTE FOR former “LIFERS”:
This change in the law means that if you were a “lifer” in prison, your parole revocation hearing will be before the BPH, not the local county superior court.
However, the BPH will continue to hear certain cases — specifically:
- Parole consideration for lifers (also called “parole suitability hearings”);
- Medical parole hearings;
- Cases regarding mentally disordered offenders (MDOs); and
- Cases regarding “sexually violent predators.”
- CHANGE TO WHERE YOU SERVE A SENTENCE FOR A PAROLE VIOLATION
- If your parole is revoked for a violation that occurred on or after July 1, 2013, you will be sentenced to COUNTY JAIL, not state prison.
- If your parole is revoked for a violation that occurred before July 1, 2013, you would have been sent back to STATE PRISON. so this is a big change in the law.
- EXCEPTION: This change does not apply to a parolee who is classified as a “serious offender” — meaning a parolee who was a life-term prisoner under California Penal Code § 3000.1, or one who was convicted of certain sex offenses under California Penal Code § 3000(a)(4)). If you fall under this classification, you will still be sent back to state prison to serve time for a parole revocation. The BPH retains control of your case, and will later decide whether to release you back onto parole.
- CHANGE TO THE AMOUNT OF TIME YOU SERVE
If you serve your parole violation (revocation) term in county jail, you will serve a maximum of 180 days. Most people serve their parole revocation terms in county jails.
But if you are a former lifer, you may serve a maximum of 12 months in prison for a parole violation. If your maximum parole period is life-long (this may be true if your commitment offense was murder or a sex offense), you may be sentenced to up to a year in prison for a revocation — and, at some point during that year, the BPH may determine that you should be incarcerated longer.
See Cal. Dep’t of Corr. & Reh., Fact Sheet: 2011 Public Safety Realignment, http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/realignment/docs/realignment-fact-sheet.pdf. ↑
Cal. Penal Code § 3000.08(a). ↑
Cal. Penal Code § 3000.08(j). ↑
Cal. Penal Code §§ 1203.2(b)(1) and (f). ↑
Cal. Penal Code § 3000.08(f)(1). ↑
Cal. Penal Code § 3000.08. Cal. Penal Code § 3056(a). ↑
Cal. Penal Code § 3057(e). ↑
Cal. Penal Code § 3000.1(d). ↑