Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Overview – When Proposition 57 was approved by voters in November 2016, it gave the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) the responsibility of developing and implementing regulations to increase credit-earning opportunities for inmates based on good behavior and program participation. Many inmates are now eligible for parole consideration or release at different times than when they were originally sentenced to prison. The proposition also allowed the Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) to consider nonviolent felons for parole who have served the full-term of the sentence for their primary offense, and who demonstrate they should no longer be considered a current threat to public safety.
In order to give inmate families, victims, law enforcement, and the public clear information about the impact of these changes to individual inmates, CDCR is expanding its Inmate Locator in different phases. On September 27, 2017, the Inmate Locator began displaying up-to-date information on an inmate’s release date or eligibility date for parole consideration by the BPH.
In that same spirit of transparency, CDCR continued this expansion on October 20th to share more detailed information about specific proceedings that are completed, pending completion, or will be scheduled in the future by the BPH for inmates who are eligible for consideration under one of the BPH’s parole processes.
What is CDCR’s Inmate Locator? The Inmate Locator is found on CDCR’s public website, and allows anyone to search for an inmate by name or CDCR number to see where the inmate is being housed. It also provides the inmate’s age, CDCR number, admission date, and his or her earliest parole eligible date. It also displays the address and driving directions to the institution where the inmate is currently housed.
What is being added to the Inmate Locator? The Inmate Locator now includes more information about an inmate’s past, pending, and future parole actions by the BPH. There is now a link to “View Board of Parole Hearings’ Actions” that appears in the search results for inmates who have been involved in the BPH’s parole processes or will be scheduled for one of the BPH’s parole processes in the future. For example, it lists the dates of parole hearings that have occurred and whether the inmate was granted or denied parole. It also shows any decisions by the BPH to advance an inmate’s next parole hearing date, postpone a parole hearing, as well as decisions to approve or deny release under the Prop. 57 nonviolent parole review process. Other BPH actions that will be displayed include parole hearing decisions reviewed by the full BPH, Penal Code section 1170 actions, parole rescission hearings, and parole reconsideration hearings.
Why was the Inmate Locator expanded to include parole consideration eligible dates? Many inmates are now eligible for parole consideration or release at different times than when they were originally sentenced to prison. There are several reasons for this, including the passage of the Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act of 2016 (Proposition 57), which created new credit-earning opportunities for inmates, as well as the nonviolent offender parole review process; the passage of new laws, such as Senate Bills 260 and 261 for youthful offenders; and implementation of court-ordered programs, such as the elderly parole program. In order to give inmate families, victims, law enforcement, and the public clear information about the impact of these changes to individual inmates, CDCR expanded its Inmate Locator to display each inmate’s earliest parole eligible date. Only the month and year will be displayed.
How is a parole consideration eligible date determined? The parole eligible date displayed for each inmate is the earliest date the inmate was or will be eligible for release or parole consideration by BPH as of the day the inmate is looked up. For example, a determinately sentenced inmate who was immediately eligible for referral to BPH under the nonviolent offender parole review process when it went into effect on July 1, 2017, and who was not previously eligible for any other parole consideration process by BPH will have “7/2017” listed as his or her parole eligible date.
Similarly, an inmate who was immediately eligible for a youth offender hearing when Senate Bill 260 went into effect on January 1, 2014, and who was not previously eligible for any other parole consideration process will have “1/2014” displayed as his or her parole eligible date.
A life-term inmate who was first eligible for a parole suitability hearing in February 2010 will have “2/2010” displayed as his or her parole eligible date, even though he or she may also be eligible for consideration as youth offender or under the elderly parole program at his or her parole hearings.
What other information is displayed? The following information is displayed for most inmates: name, CDCR number, current age, latest admission date to CDCR, current location (with link to a map of location), parole consideration eligible date (month and year only), information about the parole eligible date explaining if the date is based on a release date, or the date the inmate was (or will be) first eligible for parole consideration by BPH, as a life-term inmate, youth offender, nonviolent offender, or under the elderly parole program.
Is information available for life without the possibility of parole or condemned inmates? Inmates serving a sentence of life without the possibility of parole will not have a parole consideration eligible date or parole actions displayed. The Inmate Locator will instead display: “The inmate shown above was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, and is therefore not eligible for parole consideration at this time.”
Similarly, condemned inmates will not have a parole consideration eligible date or parole actions displayed. Instead, the Inmate Locator will display: “The inmate shown above was sentenced to death and is therefore not eligible for parole consideration.”
Are all inmates included in CDCR’s Inmate Locator? The overwhelming majority of California inmates are included in CDCR’s Inmate Locator. To be included, inmates must be under the custody and jurisdiction of CDCR. Inmates who are in a community correctional facility, fire camp, or other facility that is not a prison is included in the Inmate Locator, but their specific location is not disclosed. Inmates who have been released or who are no longer under the custody and jurisdiction of CDCR are not included. Inmates under witness protection, or who are being housed under special circumstances for their own safety are also not included in CDCR’s Inmate Locator.
How often is the information updated? The information will be updated on a timely and regular basis. The Inmate Locator will specifically indicate the date that the information was updated.