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California lawmaker seeks to allow cities to require probation registration

Posted on in Criminal Defense

A Southern California Assemblyman apparently wants to add more registration requirements for people who are released from California prisons, or people whose sentence has been deemed to have been served when entering post-release community supervision after a California felony conviction. The Assemblyman was joined by a Southern California police chief during a pitch of the idea to the public safety committee of the California Senate.

Current California law requires people entering post-release community supervision to enter an agreement with county officials. The agreement includes a number of requirements, including registration in the person's county of residence. Proponents of the new measure want to add another potential layer of registration, if a local agency decides to pass a local ordinance.

The Assembly bill seeks to give municipalities, or city and county relationships, to pass local ordinances requiring people placed on community supervision to register with local law enforcement agencies when taking up residence in the city, or city and county. Obviously, critics of the Assembly proposal say that the measure would add yet another requirement that could easily trip up a probationer, leading to exposure to more time behind bars.

Among the groups opposed to the proposed measure is the Chief Probation Officers of California, a group that had a representative testify against the bill, according to Southern California Public Radio. Opponents of the bill say that it would just make a duplicative step that essentially would create another registration requirement for people on probation that could create mere technical violations of registration--leading to a revolving door on California prisons.

The bill is being promoted as a way to solve errors in information shared between government agencies. The Assemblyman behind the bill asserts that the measure, known as "AB-1323 Post-release community supervision," will help local law enforcement obtain better information.

The lawmaker and police chief say that local police are getting incomplete or incorrect information concerning released inmates from California's correctional system and probation officials. To remedy the government error rate, the two officials hope to add more requirements on released inmates.

Critics say that not only will the idea create more potential probation violations, but will undermine the basic principles of realignment in California.

Source: KPCC Southern California Public Radio, "Bill would require double registration for California felons released from prison," Erika Aguilar, June 27, 2012

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