So-Called “Non-Violent Second-Strikers” Get Early Prison Release

Press Release

(Woodland, CA) – July 6, 2016 – The Yolo County District Attorney’s Office has launched a new website link designed to inform the public about convicted criminals who have been granted early release from prison by the State of California. Since January 1, 2015, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has granted early parole to 29 convicted felons from Yolo County who were serving state prison sentences for their crimes.

Beginning in 2015, in an effort to reduce prison overcrowding, a number of measures were put into place by the State of California which have resulted in early prison releases, including early parole consideration for individuals characterized as "non-violent second-strikers." To qualify, inmates must not currently be serving a sentence for a crime which is legally categorized as a “violent felony” and must not be required to register as sex offenders.

Once a "non-violent second-striker" has served only 50 percent of their sentence, or if they are within 12 months of having served 50 percent of their actual sentence, they will be eligible for parole consideration under this new process. Inmate names are provided to the Board of Prison Hearings and an administrative review is scheduled to determine if the inmate should be released or kept in prison to serve the sentence prescribed by law, and often agreed upon in a plea agreement. If the Board determines that the inmate would not pose an unreasonable risk to public safety based on criteria included in their criminal history, prison behavior, rehabilitation efforts, and written statements, they are released.

The Yolo County District Attorney's Office takes an active role in evaluating these cases and writes letters to the Board of Prison Hearings with an overview of the inmate's criminal history, an opinion concerning the public safety risk posed by the inmate, and the appropriateness, or lack thereof, regarding an inmate's early release.

Many of these offenders have violent and lengthy criminal histories. Examples of Yolo County criminals who have been released from prison early by the State of California include:

Britt Davis - Davis has a lengthy criminal history including multiple convictions for domestic violence, criminal threats, use of a weapon and possession of ammunition. In his committing offense he was convicted of poisoning his wife’s drink with acetone after a domestic violence incident. He had originally been sentenced to 10 years in state prison before his early release.

Carlyn Hodges - In the committing offense, Hodges led police officers on an extensive high speed pursuit in excess of 100 mph that included driving on the wrong side of the freeway and narrowly missing multiple victims, including children. He has a lengthy criminal history that includes convictions for attempted murder, assault causing great bodily injury, vehicle theft and residential burglary.

Michael Mitchell – Mitchell’s committing offense arose out a crime spree in Davis during which he stole 10 cars and burglarized 3 homes, thereby victimizing 13 families. He also has a lengthy criminal history for burglary, theft and of violating parole. Mitchell had been originally sentenced to twelve years and eight months in prison before his early release.

Michael Moore – Moore’s committing offense involved a nighttime residential burglary of an occupied dwelling where he confronted one the occupants in their kitchen. Moore had prior convictions for burglary, assault, theft, domestic violence and forgery. He had already been to prison before and was originally sentenced to ten years in state prison in the current case before he was released early.

According to Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig: "Most citizens have no idea that serious criminals are being released from prison early under these new state programs. Many of these individuals have very violent criminal histories and continue to pose a danger to our communities. Our new website link is designed to inform the public and improve the transparency of the state’s early release decisions.”

To view our website and the opposition letters that we have submitted in our attempts to prevent early releases of convicted prisoners, go to: https://yoloda.org/early-prison-releases

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