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Committee on Revision of the Penal Code

-- Last revised 2/10/21 --

History and Purpose
On January 1, 2020, a new policy-making body was created -- the Committee on Revision of the Penal Code.

The Committee will study the California Penal Code and recommend statutory reforms to achieve the following improvements:

  1. Simplify and rationalize the substance of criminal law.
  2. Simplify and rationalize criminal procedures.
  3. Establish alternatives to incarceration that will aid in the rehabilitation of offenders.
  4. Improve the system of parole and probation.

On February 9, 2021, The Committee on Revision of the Penal Code released its first Annual Report. The report describes the Committee's work and recommendations for 2020.

The recommendations are:

  1. Eliminate incarceration and reduce fines and fees for certain traffic offenses.
  2. Require that short prison sentences be served in county jails.
  3. End mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent offenses.
  4. Establish that low-value thefts without serious injury or use of a weapon are misdemeanors.
  5. Provide guidance for judges considering sentence enhancements.
  6. Limit gang enhancements to the most dangerous offenses.
  7. Retroactively apply sentence enhancements previously repealed by the Legislature.
  8. Equalize custody credits for people who committed the same offenses, regardless of where or when they are incarcerated.
  9. Clarify parole suitability standards to focus on risk of future violent or serious offenses.
  10. Establish judicial process for “second look” resentencing.