Valladares: Violent felons should serve full prison terms

Assemblywoman Suzette Martinez Valladares, right, and Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher, left, talk with a deputy on Wednesday at the Pitchess Detention Center fire camp about early-release regulations and how they’d affect programs at the center. Photo courtesy of the California State Assembly Republican Caucus
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Assemblywoman Suzette Martinez Valladares is speaking out in opposition to the planned expansion of California’s early-release program for violent criminals.  

Valladares, R-Santa Clarita, said she’s concerned with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s recent submission to the Office of Administrative Law of permanent regulations that could triple the amount of time some inmates are able to earn off their sentences and result in the early release of violent felons after serving less than half their original sentences. 

In a statement Thursday that went along with one from Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher, R-Yuba City, Valladares asked Californians where they stand on the matter. 

“Whose side are you on — the violent criminals or the victims and their families?” Valladares said. “The expansion of early release programs will endanger our community and families by allowing hard-core felons, likely to repeatedly offend, back into our neighborhoods. Los Angeles County has been ground zero for these failed criminal-first policies of Gavin Newsom and George Gascón — and the results are tragic. My work focuses on keeping these violent felons serving out their full terms and providing more justice and protection for victims and our neighborhoods.” 

In April, Republican lawmakers sent a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom urging him to direct the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to withdraw the “early-release regulations” and allow the emergency pandemic rules to expire. Despite repeated requests, according to Gallagher’s press release on the situation, not a single Democrat lawmaker signed the letter opposing this early release expansion. 

“We were all hoping that the gang shootout blocks away from the state Capitol would serve as a crime wakeup call for the governor and Capitol Democrats,” Gallagher said in a statement. “Unfortunately, we were wrong. The Newsom administration is quietly pushing forward with their plan to further slash prison sentences for violent, unrehabilitated felons. Every Californian should be infuriated by this, especially those who have been victimized as a result of this state’s failed early-release experiment.” 

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