The program was included in a bill signed into law last year by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger intended to reduce the state’s prison population and ease budget shortfalls.
In order to qualify for the irrevocable parole program, prisoners or parolees must be classified as “low-risk.” They can’t be among those required to register as sex offenders, have convictions for violent felonies, have serious discipline records while in prison or be connected to a gang.
They will be among the first wave of an estimated 44 such parolees that regional law enforcement officials expect to come into the Glendale, Burbank, La Canada Flintridge and La Crescenta in coming months.
Glendale police estimate that the city could see up to 315 inmates released by 2011.
If accepted into the program, the parolees would not be subject to the supervision of a parole officer. They do not have to provide updated information such as a residential address or employment and cannot be returned to custody for parole violations.
They are subject to search conditions, however, and can be returned to custody on a new charge.
The bill was strongly opposed by law enforcement agencies, victims’ rights organizations and legislators, including Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge), who warned of unforeseen consequences. An effort, led by Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), is underway to repeal the law.
“I am not happy with the number of folks who are getting released and the lack of oversight,” Portantino said.
Despite legal limitations, sheriff’s deputies will conduct some monitoring of the parolees, Silversparre said.