The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is committed to incentivizing incarcerated people to participate in rehabilitative programs and positive activities, and to commit to sustained good behavior.
In November 2016, California voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 57, the Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act of 2016. Under Proposition 57, CDCR has incentivized incarcerated people to take responsibility for their own rehabilitation by providing credit-earning opportunities for sustained good behavior, as well as in-prison program and activities participation. Under Proposition 57, incarcerated people increased their Good Conduct Credit earning, and have been given time credits for participation in Milestone Completion Credits, Rehabilitative Achievement Credits, and Educational Merit Credits. Earning additional credits can move up parole consideration of people convicted of nonviolent crimes who have served the full-term of the sentence for their primary offense, and who demonstrate that their release to the community would not pose an unreasonable risk of violence to the community.
Effective May 1, 2021, CDCR is standardizing the amount of Good Conduct Credit (GCC) by increasing the credit rate for eligible incarcerated people based on their conviction pursuant to emergency regulations. GCC incentivizes incarcerated people to comply with departmental regulations and prison rules, and to perform the duties assigned on a regular and satisfactory basis. CDCR is streamlining how these credits are calculated. Learn more here.
Good Conduct Credit
- GCCs are awarded to eligible individuals who comply with all the rules within a prison and perform their duties as assigned on a regular basis. Increasing the amount of GCC provides a compelling reason for individuals to positively program, as GCC may be forfeited due to disciplinary action.
- Effective May 1, 2021, CDCR will increase the rate of GCC earned for individuals serving time under Penal Code 667.5(c) from 20% to 33%, and from 33.3% to 50% for nonviolent second and third strikers.
|Previous Rate||New Rate (May 1, 2021)|
|Violent||20% (1 day of credit for every 4 days served)||33.3% (1 day of credit for every 2 days served|
|Nonviolent Second Striker||33.3%||50% (1 day of credit for every 1 day served)|
|Nonviolent Third Striker||33.3%||50% (1 day of credit for every 1 day served)|
Minimum Security Credit
- Under the emergency regulations, CDCR is establishing the Minimum Security Credit (MSC), which will be awarded to all eligible incarcerated people who work in conservation (fire) camps, are trained as firefighters, or who are assigned to minimum custody status. Effective May 1, 2021, incarcerated people will be awarded 30 days of credit for every 30 continuous days served.
Milestone Completion Credits
- MCC is awarded for successful completion of rehabilitative or educational programs designed to prepare participants to find employment upon release.
- MCC is awarded in increments of not less than one week, but no more than 12 weeks, in a 12-month period.
Rehabilitative Achievement Credits
- RAC is awarded to those who complete specified hours of approved self-help and volunteer public service activities.
- 10 days of credit may be awarded to someone who completes 52 hours of approved programming in a 12-month period.
Educational Merit Credits
- EMC is awarded for completion of high school diploma or equivalency programs, higher education degrees, or the Offender Mentor Certification Program (OMCP).
- 90 calendar days may be awarded for completion of a high school diploma or high school equivalency approved by the Department of Education, while 180 days may be awarded for successful completion of associate, bachelor’s and post-graduate degrees, and the OMCP.
Extraordinary Conduct Credits
- An award of up to 12 months of credit may be awarded to those who have performed a heroic act in a life-threatening situation or who have provided exceptional assistance in maintaining the safety and security of a prison.
- Credit Earning Opportunities FAQ – May 2021
- Proposition 57 Frequently Asked Questions – April 2021
- Determinately-Sentenced Nonviolent Parole Process – July 2019
- Indeterminately-Sentenced (Third Striker) Nonviolent Parole Process Frequently Asked Questions – (July) 2018
- Inmate Locator Expansion FAQ – October 2018
- Implementation Plan for the McGhee Decision (Proposition 57 Parole Consideration for Nonviolent Offenders) – July 2019