Fresno County DA continues fight against potential early release of 76,000 state inmates

Local News

FRESNO COUNTY, California. (KSEE) – A lawsuit to stop the early release of thousands of inmates is back in court. Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp said she is fighting to keep 76,000 inmates from being released early.

The case will be heard in Sacramento Wednesday. Smittcamp is anticipating the ruling will go in her favor.

“Public safety had a great victory today,” she said.

The announcement comes after dozens of DAs joined together alleging the CDCR increased time credits for offenders without public input.

“The Department of Corrections cheated and they tried to push this through and they failed to have administrative hearings that they are required to do by law,” Smittcamp said.

Attorney David Mugridge said inmate releases do not lead to crime spikes and said the CDCR works hard to rehabilitate.

“They have a whole staff of people there, psychologists, physiatrists, correctional officers therapists, social workers, a whole team of people that evaluate the inmates and decide who are the people that are reasonable risks to release,” he said.

Mugridge said he believes the impact of a possible release is being overblown.

“I would be concerned if I thought this was a mass release and that we were flooding the streets with horribly dangerous criminals without any consideration from the authorities as to who’s a reasonable risk. I don’t think that’s happening,” he said.

A statement from Sheriff Margaret Mims reads in part:

 “The state continues to ignore the cost of releasing these convicted felons for law abiding citizens. The local costs in both dollars and lives far outweigh what the state says they will save with these releases.”

The DA’s office has also filed a public records request to identify prisoners sentenced in Fresno County that would be released early.

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