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Work-time Credits Commence Jan. 1, 2004, in California Reception Centers

Beginning January 1, 2004, all California state prisoners in reception centers who are statutorily eligible for Penal Code § 2933 day-for-day work-time credits will automatically earn such credits by participating in a new mandatory in-cell-study educational program. This applies both to new commitments as well as parole violators. Those not otherwise eligible to earn day-for-day ("half-time") credits will earn credits at the rate applicable to their sentence (i.e., 15%, 20% or none). Credit-earning status begins effective the date of arrival into reception. Details of the study program have not been announced.

Note: Theoretically, if California's normal complement of 64,000 incarcerated parole violators earned 1/2 time instead of 1/3 time, the prison population would be reduced by nearly 10,000. It remains to be seen if prisons are correspondingly closed or if parole agents simply sweep up more violators to fill the vacant beds. (See: PLN, Nov. 2003, p.1.)

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