Riverside County D.A. and Law Enforcement Against Prop 57

Riverside County D.A. and Law Enforcement Against Prop 57

KMIR

Indio, CA

Flanked by police chiefs from throughout the county, Riverside County District Attorney, Mike Hestrin announced his opposition to Proposition 57.

"Law enforcement is united against this, this is a terrible idea," says Hestrin. 

He says the proposition that would make non violent state criminals eligible for early parole would also release violent criminals putting public safety at risk.

Hestrin read a litany of crimes that under the law are considered non violent, "Rape of an unconscious person, human trafficking involving sex acts with minors, drive by shooting, assault with a deadly weapon, taking a hostage, domestic violence involving trauma, supplying a firearm to a gang member."

He says he wants to educate voters, "There’s a specific legal definition and it’s not just the more general definition that we all think of and that’s why I’m speaking out is the public needs to be aware that these quote un quote non violent offenses are actually very serious and violent many times violent crimes."

Indio’s mayor and police chief agree.

"When it affects the quality of life and my residents and the safety of my residents along with the public safety officials, it makes me nervous," says Indio Mayor Glenn Miller.  

"We don’t want to lose ground because of a poorly written bill for something that’s going to have a negative impact on our city," says Indio Police Chief Michael Washburn. 

But those for the proposition backed by Governor Jerry Brown say that this proposition does not automatically release criminals but gives them incentives to complete education and rehab programs that give them credits towards earlier parole board hearings.

"All that will happen is that the offender will get to the parole board earlier and is eligible for parole earlier, it doesn’t mean they’re going to get it and you’ll have a parole board that’s made up of criminal justice practitioners, mostly retired that are going to look at the full jacket, the full file on that inmate," says the President of Chiefs Probation Officers of California, Mark Bonini. 

Bonini says it’s also a way to prove the state is complying with the court’s mandate reduce the state’s prison population and not making an effort to do so can have serious consequences, "We could potentially have the judge or those judges order to go someone into those institutions and arbitrarily release individuals, that’s my greatest fear, you want to talk about a detriment to public safety that is it."