BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 300
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   April 25, 2001

                              Carole Migden, Chairwoman

                AB 300 (Simitian) - As Introduced:  February 16, 2001 

          Policy Committee:                              Public  
          SafetyVote:  6-0

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program:  
          No     Reimbursable:               


          This bill reduces county jail "work-time/good-time" credits from  
          one-third the time served to no more than 20% for a non-violent  
          felon awaiting trial who is charged under the three-strikes law.
           FISCAL EFFECT
          1)Significant annual costs  - starting at about $1 million in  
            2003-04, increasing to more than $5 million in 2004-05, and  
            more than $10 million in 2009-10  - for increased state  

            About 6,600 offenders - non-violent second-strikers - would be  
            affected by this bill. At about $1,900 per month, if 6,600  
            second-strikers eventually spend an additional month in state  
            prison, the annual cost would eventually reach about $13  

          2)Corresponding county savings, depending on a county's state  
            prison commitment level. Based on overall commitment  
            percentages, at an average county jail cost of about $1,500  
            per month, the bill's sponsoring county of Santa Clara could  
            save in the range of $300,000, San Francisco about $150,000,  
            Orange about $500,000, San Diego about $800,000, and L.A.  
            about $3 million.

           1)Rationale  .  According to the author, the current system of  
            credits, under which non-violent  second-strike defendants can  
            accrue more credits in county jail than in state prison,  


                                                                  AB 300
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            creates an incentive for defendants to linger in the county  

           2)Current law  specifies that while confined in the county jail,  
            a prisoner convicted of an offense not defined as violent  
            pursuant to PC 667.5 may receive two days credits for every  
            six days served, a one-third reduction of sentence.  (Persons  
            convicted of a violent felony are already limited to 15%  
            credit and third-strikers receive indeterminate terms.) The  
            three-strikes law limits state prison credits to 20% and does  
            not refer to pre-sentence custody credits accrued in the  
            county jail while awaiting trial.

           3)Precedent  . In  People v. Hill  , (1995) 37 Cal. App. 4th 220, the  
            Court of Appeal addressed this issue and held that a defendant  
            was entitled to a one-third reduction in sentence for time  
            spent in county jail even though sentenced under  

           4)Opponents  - including the ACLU and California Attorneys for  
            Criminal Justice - contend there is little evidence to suggest  
            defendants delay trials to receive sentence credits, or that  
            this bill would save counties much money. Because of the  
            lengthy potential sentences, "three-strike" cases require a  
            great deal of preparation, accounting for longer county jail  

           5)Prior Legislation  . AB 67 (Cunneen, 1999), which was identical  
            to this bill, was held on this committee's Suspense File.


           Analysis Prepared by  :    Geoff Long / APPR. / (916)319-2081