Penal Code 3455 PC - Post Release Community Supervision in California
Suppose you're in California and have been released from state prison after serving time for a low-risk, non-violent, non-sexual felony. In that case, you will likely be placed on post-release community supervision (PRCS). This supervision is meant to help you reintegrate into society while still being monitored by law enforcement.
However, if you violate the terms of your PRCS, you may face legal consequences under California Penal Code 3455 PC.
This statute instructs courts on how to treat ex-prisoners that violate the terms of their post-release community supervision. If a violation occurs, the law allows the court to modify or revoke PRCS or refer them to reentry court.
Post-release community supervision is an alternate form of parole where the county manages lower-level felons after release from a California state prison. It is not the same as felony probation, which is part of sentencing and is an alternative to serving time in state prison.
In other words, PRCS refers to a supervisory period where a county agency monitors a felon after their release from prison. Still, it does not shorten their prison term.
During their supervision, offenders are required to complete up to three years of community supervision, eligible for discharge after six months, and able to end supervision after 12 months if there are no violations of any conditions of supervision.
All felons leaving prison are subject to PRCS unless they commit serious or violent offenses, such as Penal Code 187 PC murder, Penal Code 261 PC rape, and Penal Code 288 PC lewd acts with a minor under 14. Let's review this state law further below.
What Is Post Release Community Supervision?
Post-release community supervision (PRCS) is an alternative to parole California voters established in 2011.
While parole still exists for violent offenders, sexual offenders, and the mentally ill, PRCS effectively replaces parole for individuals who have served time for non-violent, non-serious, and non-sexual felonies and are released from prison.
While the state authorities handle parole supervision, PRCS moves supervision to the local/county level. In other words, you're supervised by county agencies rather than the state.
While you are on community supervision, you will be required to follow specific rules and conditions, which may include the following:
- Not leaving the state without permission;
- Obeying all laws;
- Not possessing any weapons;
- Participating in rehabilitation programs;
- Submitting to electronic monitoring.
As noted, PRCS lasts for no longer than three years. However, if you abide fully by the conditions of your supervision, you may be eligible to be released from PRCS earlier. Most are released after 12 months, provided they have not violated any terms of their supervision.
How Is PRCS Different from Parole?
Both PRCS and parole are types of post-release supervision, and the conditions for both are often similar. The primary difference is the agency supervising your release. Parole supervision and enforcement are handled by the state, while PRCS is administered locally by the county where you live.
What Are the Types of PRCS Violations?
There are two types of PRCS violations: technical violations and new law violations.
- Technical violations. These are violations of the specific terms of your PRCS, such as not reporting to your probation officer or failing a drug test. Technical violations do not involve new criminal activity.
- New law violations. These occur when you commit a new crime while on PRCS. Further, law violations are considered more severe than technical violations.
What Happens If the Terms of PRCS Are Violated?
When you're placed under community supervision, you'll be apprised of the terms and conditions under which you must abide.
Under PC 3455, if a police officer has probable cause to believe that you have violated the conditions of your PRCS, they can arrest you without a warrant. The county could then petition the court to revoke PRCS.
They have to include in their written report any crucial information, relevant terms and conditions of post-release supervision, the circumstances of the alleged violation, the history of the violator, and any recommendations to the hearing officer.
Depending on the nature of the violation, whether minor or significant, you may be subject to any of the following consequences:
- Intermediate sanctions: The county may opt to impose additional and immediate requirements on you for rehabilitation purposes, such as mandatory drug treatment or mental health counseling
- "Flash incarceration": The county may put you in jail for up to 10 days without a court hearing.
- Petition to revoke your PRCS: The county may petition the court to revoke your supervision per the terms of PC 3455. If this happens, depending on whether you're considered a risk to public safety or whether it serves the cause of justice, authorities can keep you in custody until your revocation hearing.
Penal Code 3455 PC requires the court to hold a revocation hearing within a reasonable time after submitting the revocation petition. The person listed in the petition could remain in custody while the hearing is pending if certain conditions exist, such as they are a risk to public safety.
What Happens at a Revocation Hearing?
The revocation hearing is held in court or in front of a hearing officer. The purpose of the revocation hearing is to determine whether you violated the terms of your PRCS and, if so, what the appropriate response should be.
If the revocation hearing officer determines that a violation occurred, they will then decide on one of three outcomes:
- Return you to post-release community supervision, possibly with modified terms or restrictions. These additional terms may include counseling, drug treatment, or a period of incarceration.
- Revoke your PRCS. If this happens, you may be required to serve up to 180 days in jail.
- Refer you to reentry court. If the court believes you need additional help being reintegrated into society, they may refer you to reentry court.
You can always waive your right to a PRCS hearing. However, some people prefer to admit their violation and accept any conditions the county requests in the petition.
What Is Reentry Court?
Reentry court is an alternative to incarceration for those who have violated the terms of their PRCS.
Reentry court combines case management with judicial oversight and assessment and provides rehabilitative services such as drug treatment, mental health counseling, job training, education programs, and more.
Reentry court aims to reduce recidivism and help you become a productive member of society.
You still have legal rights if you are a convicted felon accused of violating your post-release community supervision defined under Penal Code 3455 PC.
To review your case's details and legal options, contact us by phone or using the contact form. Eisner Gorin LLP is located in Los Angeles, California.