The Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office is one of nine counties around the state participating in a resentencing pilot program funded by a budget bill Gov. Gavin Newsom recently signed into law, prosecutors said last week.
In the pilot program, which is being overseen by the nonprofit For the People and starts Sept. 1, Contra Costa and the other participating counties will develop protocols to process resentencing applications from people in state prison.
The program follows Assembly Bill 2942, authored by Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) and signed into law in 2018, allowing a district attorney to review old sentences and ask a court to issue a new, lighter sentence.
The Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office will receive $1.05 million as part of the program, while the county Public Defender's Office will receive $750,000 and a local nonprofit that will advise prosecutors on potential candidates for resentencing will receive $250,000.
The funding is meant to allow prosecutors to better process requests for resentencing applications and they will also create a written policy on how to recommend who can get resentenced, train staff on the relevant state laws, and track data for the resentencing requests, according to the District Attorney's Office.
"I was proud to support AB 2942 and this funding further strengthens my office's ability to process these requests in a timely manner," District Attorney Diana Becton said. "Excessive sentences undermine our ability to hold the most violent accountable for serious crimes in our community. The strain on the state prison and criminal justice system is immense from these failed policies of our past."