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Sacramento County DA files petition against early release eligibility of 76,000 inmates

More than 40 district attorneys filed a petition against the state's new rules that would shorten inmates convicted for having good behavior credits.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert is among 40 other DAs across the state that filed a petition the Secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to repeal the early release of about 76,000 inmates.  

More than 63,000 inmates convicted of violent crimes became eligible for good behavior credits that shorten their sentences by one-third instead of the previous one-fifth. About 13,000 inmates convicted of serious, but nonviolent, offenses will be eligible for release after serving half their sentences.   

Dana Simas, a spokeswoman for CDCR, told the Associated Press the goal is to increase incentives for inmates to practice good behavior and to follow the rules while they serve time. 

“Additionally, these changes would help to reduce the prison population by allowing incarcerated persons to earn their way home sooner,” Simas said.

The move to release inmates early comes as California tries to trim further its prison population, which used to be the nation's largest state correctional system. 

The petition claims that victims and their families were not involved in the process because the new rules were made under a claim of emergency that bypassed public comment. 

Schubert called on Attorney General Rob Bonta days after the rule change to oppose the early release of tens of thousands of inmates, saying they will have a drastic effect on public safety.  

"To sit back and do nothing speaks volumes about his values towards public safety, crime victims and (Bonta's) ability to lead the office of the state’s top law enforcement officer," Schubert said.   

WATCH MORE: Robocalls in California traced back to inmates in Florida 

A prisoner on "work release" in Fla. told our team of investigators that he was calling people in California to offer PG&E customers a flat rate on the cost of gas.

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