DA: Decision regarding release of more than 100 inmates in Bakersfield Thursday has changed

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UPDATE (9:45 p.m.): District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer said 23 inmates will be released in Bakersfield Thursday. 

Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh told 17 News on Wednesday night, state officials said correctional officers will be on hand and stationed around the Greyhound station during the inmate transfers. 

Goh also said inmates from California City and Tehachapi correctional facilities are expected to be redirected outside of Bakersfield. The exact location was not disclosed.

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The scheduled release of up to 120 inmates in Bakersfield Thursday has changed, according to the Kern County District Attorney’s Office.

A number of those inmates will now be redirected to other counties, prosecutors said Wednesday.

“After collaboration with District Attorney (Cynthia) Zimmer, Bakersfield Police Chief Lyle Martin and Assemblyman Vince Fong, Bakersfield Mayor Goh reached out to the (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation) through the Governor’s Office last night with concerns about the abnormally large number of inmates scheduled to be released,” a DA’s Office news release said.

Following that discussion, CDCR Undersecretary Kathleen Alison said the department would redirect many of the paroled inmates, prosecutors said. 

A CDCR spokesman said Wednesday afternoon she was not aware of the change.

The DA’s release said the change “comes as a relief, although provides little consolation in light of the enormous number of inmates already being released to Kern County in the wake of Proposition 57 and recent judicial interpretations of that proposition which dramatically shorten the date of parole eligibility for many of Kern County’s most violent inmates.”

Passed in 2016, the proposition, among other things, moves up parole consideration for nonviolent offenders who have served the full term for their primary offense.

In the news release, however, prosecutors said “full term for the primary offense” has come to be interpreted to mean not the full term of the sentence, but the term of the underlying offense, minus time imposed for aggravating factors such as prior convictions for violent offenses.

“The result is that truly nonviolent offenders see little to no relief from Prop 57, while offenders with a history of violence whose last offense happened to be nonviolent become eligible for early release,” prosecutors said. 

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