Positive Programming Credit – FAQs

When is it expected state prisons will open back up to intake?

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has taken a serious role in ensuring physical distancing in state prisons and ensuring incarcerated people are safe from the spread of COVID-19.  CDCR is working to resume intake operations in a safe and controlled manner that protects the health and well-being of all who live and work in state prisons.  Limited intake, in accordance with the CDCR/CCHCS Movement Matrix disseminated August 21, 2020, resumed on August 28, 2020. However, it will take time to complete the process of receiving those individuals impacted by the closure. In the meantime, CDCR is working with the county jail staff to identify those who may be eligible for release on their calculated release date.

How is CDCR receiving the Prison Packet from the court in order to calculate the release date?

CDCR emailed communication to the county jail staff on April 27, 2020 providing direction to forward all prison packets for individuals who appear to have 45-60 days remaining on their sentence. CDCR provided them the contact information for the Case Records Services (CRS) staff in Headquarters who were handling these cases.

What does CRS staff do to process the prison packet once it is received from the County Jail?

The designated CRS staff will complete a thorough review of the legal documents and ensure the release date calculation is correct. After a release date is calculated, a CDCR number will be issued to the individual in question.  Prior to reaching the release date, the CRS staff will forward a release memorandum to the county jail so the individual can be processed for release.

How are people notified where to report for post-release supervision?

The release memorandum sent to the county jail provides the releasing individual instruction to report to the nearest CDCR Parole Unit. Staff at the Parole Unit will connect the individual with an agent who will process the release plans.  The individual will be supervised by either a state parole agent or a county probation officer for Post Release Community Supervision.

While housed in the county jail, will people receive the Positive Programming Credit (PPC) of 84 days the Secretary of CDCR ensured were applied to those already housed in state prison?

At this time, due to the pandemic, people in state prison are unable to program in order to to prevent the spread of COVID-19. People housed in the county jail who were sentenced on or before July, 5, 2020 will receive 84 days of PPC so long as they have been disciplinary free from March 1, 2020 through July 5, 2020.  CRS will apply the PPC to the eligible individuals’ terms unless county jail staff notify CRS staff that the individual was found guilty of a serious rules violation during the above-mentioned time period.

Individuals incarcerated at a CDCR facility are having their release dates expedited. Will those in county jail be afforded the same opportunity?

CDCR has expedited the release of eligible incarcerated people under Government Code section 8658 in order to decompress the population to ensure the safety of incarcerated people and staff in managing the spread of COVID-19. The process of identifying eligible people is based on many factors including but not limited to public safety, and health or medical conditions that may make someone vulnerable to COVID-19. Because these case factors of people housed in county jail are not known, CDCR is unable to recommend expedited release for this population. However, on a case by case basis, CDCR has been working with county jail staff to ensure those housed in county jails are receiving the care needed.

My loved one has health concerns. How would I initiate the Compassionate Release process while they are housed in the county jail? 

 Pursuant to Penal Code (PC) 1170 (e)(6), notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, the prisoner or his or her family member or designee may independently request consideration for recall and resentencing by contacting the chief medical officer at the prison or the secretary. 

1170(e)(11): The provisions of this subdivision shall be available to an inmate who is sentenced to a county jail pursuant to subdivision (h). For purposes of those inmates, “secretary” or “warden” shall mean the county correctional administrator and “chief medical officer” shall mean a physician designated by the county correctional administrator for this purpose. 

If an individual meets the criteria set in PC 1170(e):

Compassionate release is designated for inmates who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness that is likely to produce death in 12 months or less and that condition did not exist at the time of sentencing. If an inmate meets that criteria, a request for consideration for compassionate release can be initiated by the inmate or his family by contacting the inmate’s primary care physician in the county jail.