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Santa Barbara County District Attorney commits to protecting crime victims as CA plans for early inmate release

Santa Barbara County District Attorney

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley announced Thursday that she and her office are committed to protecting the public, especially victims of violent crime, as California plans to make 76,000 inmates eligible for early release.

Inmates that may soon be eligible for early release include those in custody for violent crimes and repeat felony offenders. Good behavior credits will allow these inmates to shorten their sentences by one-third instead of the one-fifth that had been in place since 2017.

“The goal is to increase incentives for the incarcerated population to practice good behavior and follow the rules while serving their time, and participate in rehabilitative and educational programs, which will lead to safer prisons,” corrections department spokeswoman Dana Simas said in a statement.

District Attorney Dudley said her office's Victim-Witness Assistance Program has advocates who are ready to provide crisis intervention, crime prevention services, criminal case status information, victim compensation and court accompaniment to all local victims.

The advocates are also available to provide both current and past victims with information on an offender's status and whereabouts--this includes offenders who have long left state prison.

“We continue to stand together committed to protecting and upholding crime victims’ rights as well as our public’s safety,” said Dudley.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of a crime and is concerned about a State Prison inmate, including their prison release date or upcoming parole hearing, you can get in touch with victim-witness advocates for help.

Advocates with the Non-Emergency Victim Assistance Program are available 24/7 at 805-568-2400.

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Jessica Brest

Jessica Brest is a digital journalist and assignment editor for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Jessica, click here.

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