Equal Protection for Incarcerated Fathers Ordered in California
In an important victory for incarcerated fathers in California, Judge Morrison C. England, of the US District Court, ruled on Sep. 9th that “California’s decision to open an alternative custody program to female inmates only and to permit them to apply for release up to two years prior to their earliest possible release date violates the Equal Protection Clause of Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.” Judge England also ordered the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to into immediately cease denying admission the ACP program on the basis that an applicant is male.
ACP permits women in prison for a non-violent or non-serious felonies, determined not at high risk to commit a violent offense, and without a history of escape from custody over the last ten years, to apply for release from incarceration up to two years before their earliest possible release date. Current ACP participants are supervised by a parole officer; agree to case management, including at-home contacts; and, may apply to serve the remainder of their sentence in private homes, in private drug-treatment or transitional care facilities, or a Female Treatment and Employment Program. The summary judgment, in favor of the plaintiff applicant William Sassman, is estimated to make about 3,100 males, currently serving sentences on eligible charges, potentially eligible for the program, with 500 men expected to be admitted to ACP, according to court documents.
You can link to the decision through our Children of Incarcerated Parents Blog and let us know what you think by posting a comment there, http://www.justicestrategies.org/coip/blog/2015/09/william-sassman-plaintiff-v-edmund-g-brown-jr-governor-california-and-jeffrey-bear