What "Prop 57" Credits are Penal Code section 288 Offenders Eligible for?

The following blog post discusses our interpretation of "Proposition 57" credit-earning opportunities for Penal Code section 288 offenders as of January 26, 2018. The credit-earning opportunities provided to California inmates is subject to change and you should do your own independent research.

In November of 2016, California voters passed "Proposition 57," thereby permitting California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation (CDCR) to expand credit-earning opportunities for California prison inmates. According to CDCR, the changes under "Proposition 57" are intended to lead “to improved inmate behavior and a safer prison environment for inmates and staff alike, and give inmates skills and tools to be more productive members of society once they complete their incarceration and transition to supervision.”[1]

Depending on the offense classification an inmate is serving a sentence for, credit-earning opportunities for inmates differ. This blog post focuses on credit-earning opportunities for Penal Code section 288 offenders. There are five general categories of credit an inmate can earn: (1) Good Conduct, (2) Milestone Credit, (3) Rehabilitative Achievement Credit, (4) Educational Merit Credit, and (5) Extraordinary Conduct Credit.

Generally, under "Proposition 57," an inmate serving a determinate or indeterminate term for a violent felony is awarded a lower amount of credits for good behavior, as well as program and activities participation. A violent felony is any offense enumerated in Penal Code section 667.5(c). A conviction for violating Penal Code section 288 is an enumerated violent felony offense.[2]

(1) Good Conduct Credit

Good conduct credit is awarded pursuant to California Code of Regulations section 3043.2. An inmate serving a determinate or indeterminate term for a violent felony is awarded one day of credit for every four days of incarceration (20%). If, however, the inmate qualifies and is involved in a firefighting program or housed at a fire camp as proscribed in Section 3043.2(4)(B), then the inmate is awarded one day of credit for every day of incarceration (50%).

(2) Milestone Credit

In general, an inmate serving a term for a PC 288 offense can receive a maximum of 12 weeks milestone credit in a twelve-month period. Credit awarding under this section for completing academic courses differs depending on the education level an inmate attained prior to incarceration.

(3) Rehabilitative Achievement Credit

Rehabilitative achievement credit is awarded based on the number of hours of participation an inmate completes during a twelve-month period. An inmate generally receives one week of credit for every five hours of participation. An inmate can be awarded a maximum of four weeks of credit in a twelve-month period.

(4) Educational Merit Credit

Educational merit credit is awarded based upon the completion of a significant academic accomplishment. Inmates are awarded specific amounts of credit depending on the level of education attained.[3] Credit for completion of these educational programs can only be awarded once to an inmate.

(5) Extraordinary Conduct Credit

Extraordinary conduct credit allows credit of up to 12 months for an inmate who has performed a heroic act in a life-threatening situation or who has provided exceptional assistance in maintaining the safety and security of the prison.

Although credits for Penal Code section 288 offenders are generally not awarded at as high of a rate as other nonviolent offenders, "Proposition 57" has expanded the credit-earning opportunities for these offenders.


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[1] Visit https://www.cdcr.ca.gov/proposition57/ for more information on Proposition 57 and CDCR implementation.

[3] See Page 9 of the recent amendments to Proposition 57 for a chart providing more information on Education Merit Credit: https://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Regulations/Adult_Operations/docs/NCDR/2017NCR/17-05/Amendment_Prop_57.pdf