Prior Reforms

Criminal Justice Realignment

California’s criminal justice realignment represents one of the most significant changes in criminal justice policy since statehood.

Criminal justice realignment, enacted via the Budget Act of 2011 and various budget trailer bills realigned the responsibility for managing and supervising non-serious, non-violent, non-sexual felony offenders from the state to county governments.

  • Criminal justice realignment did not change any law or procedure up to the point a sentence is pronounced.
  • Criminal justice realignment changed the place where many felony sentences are served when the defendant is not granted probation. Instead of being sentenced to state prison, defendants convicted of a non-serious, non-violent, non-sexual felony with no prior such offenses serve their time in county jail.
  • Persons released from state prison after serving a prison term for a felony that is not a serious or violent felony, a third strike, a crime where the person is classified as a high risk sex offender, or a crime where the person is required to undergo treatment by the California Department of Mental Health, are now supervised by the county probation department as opposed to state parole. This term of supervision is referred to as ‘Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS).
  • Trial courts are now responsible for conducting parole and PRCS revocation hearings.

 For more information on criminal justice realignment:

Infographic for felony sentences and supervision types after Criminal Justice Realignment

Data Dashboards: Trends in Felony Court Case Processing


Other Reforms: 

Since the landmark “realignment” legislation, many other changes to California’s criminal justice system have been enacted into law through both legislative action and voter-approved initiatives. Broadly, these laws focused on: 

  • Reducing incarceration
  • Emphasizing rehabilitation and reentry into the community, and
  • Addressing systemic racial bias at all stages.

Many of these laws provide an opportunity for retroactive relief. California has: 

Redefined or eliminated certain criminal offenses. 

In 2014, Proposition 47 reclassified certain theft and drug possession offenses from felonies to misdemeanors. In 2016, Proposition 64 legalized or reduced the penalty for certain marijuana-related offenses. While these ballot initiatives concerned “low-level” crimes, the Legislature has also addressed more serious offenses. For example, Senate Bill 1437 limited felony murder liability and established a resentencing procedure for defendants with qualifying convictions. 

Expanded opportunities for pretrial diversion and release.  

Assembly Bill 1810 (Stats. 2018, Ch. 34) established mental health diversion and amended the statutes for mental competency proceedings to allow a judge to grant diversion to a defendant who has been found incompetent to stand trial.  

In 2019, the state budget earmarked $75 million to the Judicial Council to launch and evaluate pretrial pilot programs  in select trial courts, with the goals of increasing the safe and efficient release of arrestees before trial, using the least restrictive monitoring practices possible while protecting public safety and ensuring court appearances, validating and expanding the use of risk assessment tools, and assessing any bias. And in 2021, the state budget earmarked an additional $140 million to the Judicial Council for pretrial release programs, with $70 million available to courts that did not participate in the pilot program.  

Reduced the length of sentences.  

Propositions 47 and 64 contained provisions allowing defendants to request resentencing, reclassification, or dismissal and sealing of eligible convictions. More recent examples of sentencing reform include Senate Bill 180, which eliminated a mandatory three-year sentence enhancement for prior controlled substance convictions, and Senate Bill 136, which eliminated a mandatory one-year prison prior sentence enhancement (except for sexually violent offense convictions); Senate Bill 483  retroactively applied these changes to persons currently serving a sentence based on the eliminated enhancements. 

Created new opportunities for debt and record clearance relief.  

Post-conviction relief has been expanded in a number of different contexts. Assembly Bill 813 created vacatur relief for plea bargained convictions based on adverse immigration consequences or on newly discovered evidence of actual innocence, and Assembly Bill 1259 extended vacatur relief based on adverse immigration consequences to convictions that resulted from trial. The California Racial Justice Act of 2020 (AB 2542)—allows defendants to file a writ of habeas corpus or a motion to vacate a conviction or sentence that was sought, obtained, or imposed on the basis of race, ethnicity, or national origin; and recent legislation made this bill retroactive. Senate Bill 731 extended the ability to petition for dismissal of a conviction under Penal Code section 1203.41 to felony defendants who completed a state prison sentence.  

Provided for automatic record clearance relief to be carried out by the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the courts.  
Traditionally, defendants seeking record clearance relief have been required to affirmatively petition for such relief. But in recent years, the Legislature has created various statutory mechanisms that automate this relief and eliminate the need for defendants to file a petition. Assembly Bill 1793 set out procedures and timelines for the automatic resentencing, redesignation, or dismissal of eligible marijuana-related convictions in the DOJ’s state summary criminal history information database. Assembly Bill 1706 added a timeframe to the procedure established by AB 1793 to require courts to process record relief for qualifying marijuana convictions by March 1, 2023. Assembly Bill 1076 established DOJ-initiated record clearance relief for most convictions and arrests and prohibited courts from disclosing information on convictions granted relief, Assembly Bill 145 made this bill retroactive, and Senate Bill 731 further extended this automatic relief to previously excluded classes of felony defendants. 


Past Criminal Justice Programs



Program Overview and Purpose 

The Budget Act of 2019 earmarked $75 million to the Judicial Council to launch and evaluate three-year pretrial projects in local trial courts. As directed by the Legislature, the projects aimed to increase the safe and efficient release of arrestees before trial; use the least restrictive monitoring practices possible while protecting public safety and ensuring court appearances; validate and expand the use of risk assessment tools; and assess any bias. 

On August 9, 2019, the Judicial Council awarded funds to 16 pretrial projects in trial courts throughout the state. 

Click here to learn more about the funded pilot programs. 

Pilot Projects 

Large Court Category 

  • Alameda 
  • Los Angeles 
  • Sacramento 

Medium Court Category 

  • San Joaquin 
  • San Mateo 
  • San Barbara 
  • Sonoma 
  • Tulare 
  • Ventura 

Medium/Small Court Category 

  • Kings 
  • Napa 
  • Nevada-Sierra 

Small Courts Category 

  • Calaveras 
  • Modoc 
  • Tuolumne 
  • Yuba 

Pilot Projects Map 

Map of Pretrial Projects by Court Size

 Quick Links 

Pretrial Pilot Program Leg Report, July 2022
Pretrial Pilot Program Leg Report, January 2021
Pretrial Pilot Program Leg Report, July 2020
Pretrial Pilot Program Leg Report, January 2020

Related Links 

Pretrial Pilot Program Request for Applications (RFA) Process

The Request for Applications (RFA) was made available to the courts on May 20, 2019. It included the program goals, scope, eligibility requirements, suggested funding allocations based on court size, and scoring methodology, among other information.

Request for Applications with all Attachments (PDF Portfolio)

Individual Documents:

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the RFA:

Judicial Council staff held an optional conference call for court applicants on June 5, 2019, to address questions related to the application process, policy, and/or scope of the pilot program. Written responses were updated weekly as additional questions were submitted.

Updated June 21: Frequently Asked Questions re: Application

After reviewing the applicants, funds were awarded to 16 pretrial projects in trial courts throughout the state on August 9, 2019. See the Pretrial Pilot Program section for details on these pilot projects.

Pretrial Detention Reform Workgroup

Purpose: Study current pretrial detention practices and provide recommendations for potential reforms.

Date Established: October 2016

Now Available: Pretrial Detention Reform Report

Read the Pretrial Detention Reform Workgroup recommendations published October 2017. Learn more about the report from the press release, Chief Justice Workgroup: Money Bail is "Unsafe and Unfair".


Significant attention is focused on pretrial detention throughout the country. Courts, counties, and municipalities have been the subject of multiple lawsuits asserting constitutional violations. Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye expressed concerns about individuals who are detained pretrial solely because they are too poor to afford bail in her 2016 State of the Judiciary address to the California Legislature. Members in both houses of the California Legislature have introduced legislation aimed at pretrial reform.

A Brief Guide to the California Chief Justice’s Pretrial Detention Reform Workgroup


The workgroup began its work in December 2016 and will conclude in December 2017. The recommendations will be presented to the Chief Justice for her consideration and will later be shared with Judicial Council advisory committees, as appropriate.

The recommendations may include changes to rules of court or California law, best practices for courts and justice system partners, or suggestions for related areas in need of study. The group will receive input from state and national experts, justice system partners, regulators, victim and civil liberty advocates, and states and localities that have recently undergone pretrial reform efforts.


Guiding Principles

Judicial decision making is integral to pretrial detention. The workgroup is guided by the following principles:

  • Pretrial custody should not occur solely because a defendant cannot afford bail
  • Public safety is a fundamental consideration in pretrial detention decisions
  • Defendants should be released from pretrial custody as early as possible based on an assessment of the risk to public safety and the risk for failing to appear in court
  • Mitigating the impacts of implicit bias on pretrial release decision-making should be considered
  • Reform recommendations should consider Court and justice system partner resources
  • Non-financial release alternatives should be available
  • Establish consistent and feasible practices for making pretrial release, detention, and supervision decisions


  • Hon. Brian J. Back, Co-Chair, Judge of the Superior Court of California County of Ventura
  • Hon. Lisa R. Rodriguez, Co-Chair, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego
  • Hon. Mark Boessenecker, Presiding Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Napa
  • Mr. Alex Calvo, Court Executive Officer, Superior Court of California, County of Santa Cruz
  • Hon. Arturo Castro, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda
  • Hon. Hilary A. Chittick, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Fresno
  • Hon. George C. Eskin (Ret.), Retired Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Barbara
  • Hon. Scott M. Gordon, Judge of the Superior Court of California,County of Los Angeles
  • Hon. Teri L. Jackson, Presiding Judge of the Superior Court of California,County of San Francisco
  • Hon. Brian L. McCabe, Judge of the Superior Court of California,County of Merced
  • Hon. Serena R. Murillo, Judge of the Superior Court of California,County of Los Angeles
  • Hon. Risë Jones Pichon, Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara


Effective November 9, 2016 Proposition 57 changed the law governing parole and the granting of custody credits to persons in state prison, as well as the law governing determinations of whether juveniles may be tried as adults. This memorandum provides an explanation of the proposition.


Proposition 47 implemented three broad changes to felony sentencing laws. First, it reclassified certain theft and drug possession offenses from felonies to misdemeanors. Second, it authorized defendants currently serving sentences for felony offenses that would have qualified as misdemeanors under the proposition to petition courts for resentencing under the new misdemeanor provisions. Third, it authorize defendants who have completed their sentences for felony convictions that would have qualified as misdemeanors under the proposition to apply to reclassify those convictions to misdemeanors. 

Felony convictions resentenced or reclassified as misdemeanors under the proposition are considered misdemeanors for all purposes, except that such relief does not permit the person to own, possess, or have in his or her custody or control any firearm. 

Early Impacts of Proposition 47 on the Courts

California superior courts received more than 200,000 petitions for resentencing or applications for reclassification during the first 13 months after voters approved Proposition 47. A report prepared by Judicial Council staff, highlights the impacts of the ballot measure on the courts during the first year of implementation. 

For more information: Data Dashboards: Trends in Felony Court Case Processing

Reclassification of Theft and Drug Possession Offenses

Theft Offenses

Proposition 47 created new misdemeanors and reclassified several felony theft offenses as misdemeanors. The new misdemeanor provisions do not apply to persons with one or more prior convictions for offenses under Penal Code section 667(e)(2)(C)(iv) or for sex offenses that require registration under Penal Code section 290(c). The new provisions include: 

  • Shoplifting. The proposition added Penal Code section 459.5 to create a new misdemeanor offense called "shoplifting," punishable by up to 6 months in county jail. Shoplifting would be defined as "entering a commercial establishment with intent to commit larceny while that establishment is open during regular business hours" where the value of the property does not exceed $950. Any other entry into a commercial establishment with intent to commit larceny is burglary. Any act of shoplifting as defined above must be charged as shoplifting. No person charged with shoplifting may also be charged with burglary or theft of the same property. 
  • Forgery. Before Proposition 47, forgery under Penal Code section 473 was a wobbler offense. Proposition 47 reclassified forgery of specified instruments involving $950 or less as exclusively a misdemeanor. The misdemeanor provision is not applicable to any person convicted both of forgery and identity theft under Penal Code section 530.5. 
  • Insufficient Funds. Before Proposition 47, a violation of Penal Code section 476a was a wobbler offense, except that the offense was strictly a misdemeanor if the total underlying amount did not exceed $450, unless the person was previously convicted of one of several specified theft offenses. Proposition 47 increased the total threshold amount for misdemeanors from $450 to $950 and increased the number of disqualifying prior convictions from one to "three or more." 
  • Petty Theft. Proposition 47 added Penal Code section 490.2 to expressly define petty theft as “obtaining any property by theft where the value of the money, labor, real or personal property taken” does not exceed $950. This new definition of petty theft applies notwithstanding Section 487 “or any other provision of law defining grand theft.” (Pen. Code, § 490.2(a).) As such, the new definition of petty theft appears to apply regardless of how specific categories of property are treated under separate statutes. This new provision is not applicable to any theft that may be charged as an infraction “pursuant to any other provision of law.” 
  • Receiving Stolen Property. Before Proposition 47, a violation of Penal Code section 496 was a wobbler offense, except that if the value of the property did not exceed $950, the district attorney or grand jury could specify the offense as exclusively a misdemeanor “in the interests of justice.” Proposition 4 7 rendered all violations of section 496 that do not exceed $950 as strictly misdemeanors, eliminating prosecutorial discretion to charge those offenses as felonies. 
  • Petty Theft with a Prior. For most defendants, Proposition 47 eliminated the offense of petty theft with a prior under Penal Code section 666 by narrowing the category of persons subject to punishment under that section to only include persons required to register under the Sex Offender Registration Act, persons with prior violent or serious felony convictions under section 667.5(e)(2)(C)(iv), and persons convicted of Penal Code section 368(d) or (e) [specified theft crimes involving elder or dependent adults]. 

Drug Possession Offenses 

Proposition 47 also reclassified drug possession offenses under Health and Safety Code sections 11350, 11357(a) [concentrated cannabis], and 11377 as strictly misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in county jail. As with the theft offenses, these new misdemeanor provisions do not apply to persons with one or more prior convictions for offenses specified under Penal Code section 667(e)(2)(C)(iv) or for a sex offense that requires registration under Penal Code section 290(c). 



Proposition 47 added Penal Code section 1170.18 to authorize persons currently serving sentences for felony convictions that are now misdemeanors under the proposition to petition courts for recalls of sentences and to request resentencing under the new laws (Pen. Code § 1170.18(a).), except that persons with one or more prior convictions for offenses listed under section 667(e)(2)(C)(iv) or for a sex offense that requires registration under section 290(c) are not eligible for resentencing. (Pen. Code, § 1170. l 8(i).)   


Petitions for resentencing must have been filed by November 4, 2022, “or at a later date upon a showing of good cause.” (Pen. Code § 1170.18(j).) Petitions must be filed with the trial court that entered the original judgment unless that judge is unavailable, in which case the presiding judge must designate another judge to rule on the petition. (Pen. Code, § 1170.18(a), (1).)   

Resentencing Considerations 

If the court determines that the petitioner is eligible for resentencing, the court must recall the sentence and resentence the petitioner under the new misdemeanor provisions “unless the court, in its discretion, determines that resentencing the petitioner would pose an unreasonable risk of danger to public safety.” (Pen. Code, § 1170. l18(b).) 
The phrase “unreasonable risk of danger to public safety” is defined narrowly as an unreasonable risk that the petitioner will commit a new violent felony within the meaning of section 667(e)(2)(C)(iv). (Pen. Code, § 11l70.18(c).) 
Persons who are resentenced must be given credit for time served and are subject to a period of parole for one year under section 3000.08 “unless the court, in its discretion, as part of its resentencing order, releases the person from parole.” (Pen. Code, § 1170.18(d).) 
Resentencing may not result in the imposition of a term that is longer than the original sentence. (Pen. Code, § 1170.18(e).) A resentencing hearing is considered a “post-conviction release proceeding” under Article I, Section 28(b)(7) of the California Constitution (Marsy's Law). 

Reclassifying Convictions 

Proposition 47 also authorizes persons who have completed their sentences for felony offenses that would have qualified as misdemeanors under the new laws to apply for a reduction of their felony conviction to a misdemeanor. (Pen. Code, § 1l170. l18(f).) Persons with one or more prior convictions for offenses listed under section 667(e)(2)(C)(iv) or for a sex offense that requires registration under section 290(c) are not eligible for reclassification. (Pen. Code, § 1170.18(i).) 
As with the resentencing provisions explained above, applications for reclassification must be made with the trial court that entered the original judgment unless that judge is unavailable, in which case the presiding judge must designate another judge to rule on the petition. (Pen. Code § 1170.18(f), (1).) All applications must be filed by November 4, 2022, “or at a later date upon a showing of good cause.” (Pen. Code, § 1170.l18(j).) 
If the court determines that the person is eligible for reduction, the court must designate the felony offense as a misdemeanor. (Pen. Code, § 1170.l18(g).) Unlike the resentencing provisions under section 1170.18(a), reductions to misdemeanors do not hinge on considerations of an “unreasonable risk of danger to public safety.” 
Unless requested by the applicant, no hearing is necessary to grant or deny an application. (Pen. Code, § 1170.18(hf).) 

Proposition 47 Filings: November 2014 – December 2023 (Updated March 2024)

Proposition 47 FAQs(Updated November 2016)

Memorandum on Proposition 47 (May 2016)


Program Overview and Purpose 

As part of the Budget Act of 2014, the Legislature allocated $15 million from the Recidivism Reduction Fund (RRF) for a competitive grant program to be administered by the Judicial Council of California. The funds were designated for courts to use in the administration and operation of programs and practices known to reduce offender recidivism and enhance public safety, including the use of validated risk and needs assessments, other evidence-based practices, and programs that specifically address the needs of mentally ill and drug-addicted offenders. 

Recidivism Reduction Funds supported the operation of 20 collaborative courts and 11 pretrial programs. RRF funding also provided an opportunity, in FY 2015-16, for 8 courts to conduct local training and technical assistance programs related to recidivism reduction.

Map of California RRF grant awards
With three rounds of grants made in April, July and November of 2015, a total of 36 courts and their criminal justice partners operated Recidivism Reduction Fund projects in either the pretrial or collaborative courts category and/or received training and technical assistance. 

Summary of RRF Awards 

Recidivism Reduction Fund Resources 

What is a reentry court? 

In California, a reentry court is a type of collaborative justice court for individuals who have been released from prison, have violated their terms of community supervision, and have a history of substance abuse or mental health issues. 

How do reentry courts work? 

Although reentry courts operate slightly different across counties, the following program components are common to reentry courts in California. 

  • The reentry court team makes decisions about a participant’s court case. Reentry court teams are led by the judge and usually includes a defense attorney, a prosecutor, a parole agent, a probation officer, and treatment staff and/or case managers. 
  • Reentry court participants are assessed for their risk of re-offending and treatment needs. This information is used to create supervision and treatment plans. 
  • The program connects participants to a variety of supports including mental health treatment, substance use treatment, and housing. 
  • Participants attend scheduled court sessions usually one to four times a month to discuss their progress. 
  • The court can recommend early discharge from community supervision when a participant successfully completes the program. Participants usually stay in the program for approximately 12-18 months. 

Select from the below links for information on existing programs, eligibility requirements, history, and resources. 

2016 Reentry Court Roundtable 

The one-day session convened judges, probation and parole officers, service providers and criminal justice partners to explore lessons learned, differences between parole and probation, evaluation and research as well as strengthening partnerships. 

Materials and Resources
The resources and materials distributed during and after the “Reentry Court Roundtable” are included here for your use.  It includes articles, faculty PowerPoint presentations, model court documents and forms, information covering funding services and programs and a roster of attendees 

Additionally, we have attached a Department of Health Care Services flier, which answers frequently asked questions, defines case management services, and who might be eligible to, in limited circumstances,  receive payment for providing those services. 

2014 Reentry Court Summit 

Click here to view the agenda and faculty materials for the event. 

A Reentry Court Summit titled "Court Programs and Practices for Working with Reentry, PRCS, and Mandatory Supervision Populations" was held on APRIL 21, 2014 in San Francisco, CA at the offices of the Judicial Council. Invitations were sent to existing programs and to courts interested in starting up a reentry court program. 

Topics covered included: 

  • Parolee Reentry Courts 
  • Reentry Courts for the Mandatory Supervision and PRCS populations 
  • Affordable Care Act 
  • Harlem Reentry Court: National Prospective 
  • Innovative Programs that Serve Reentry Populations 
  • Probation and Parole Staff 
  • Service Providers 

Quick Links 

California's Three Strikes sentencing law was originally enacted in 1994. The essence of the Three Strikes law was to require a defendant convicted of any new felony, having suffered one prior conviction of a serious felony to be sentenced to state prison for twice the term otherwise provided for the crime. If the defendant was convicted of any felony with two or more prior strikes, the law mandated a state prison term of at least 25 years to life. 

On November 6, 2012 the voters approved Proposition 36 which substantially amended the law with two primary provisions: 

  1. The requirements for sentencing a defendant as a third strike offender were changed to 25 years to life by requiring the new felony to be a serious or violent felony with two or more prior strikes to qualify for the 25 year-to-life sentence as a third strike offender; and 
  1. The addition of a means by which designated defendants currently serving a third strike sentence may petition the court for reduction of their term to a second strike sentence, if they would have been eligible for second strike sentencing under the new law. 


The Amendment of the Three Strikes Sentencing Law (May 2017) by J. Richard Couzens, Judge of the Superior Court of Placer County (Ret.) and Presiding Justice Tricia A. Bigelow, Court of Appeal, 2nd Appellate District, Div. 8 

Video: Prop 36 Amendments to California's Three-Strikes Sentencing

Playlist Index:

Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: Use of a Firearm
Part 3: Prior Offenses
Part 4: Consecutive Sentencing
Part 5: Petitioning for Resentencing
Part 6: Multiple Counts
Part 7: Qualification Hearing
Part 8: Court's Discretion
Part 9: Pleadings and Retrial
Part 10: Order of the Court

view the full video (54:57)

Perhaps the most important reform in state sentencing and corrections practice taking place today is the incorporation of principles of evidence-based practice into state sentencing and corrections policy and practice. 

The term evidence-based practice (EBP) was used initially in relation to medicine, but has since been adopted by many fields including education, child welfare, mental health, and criminal justice. 

EBP refers to outcome-focused approaches and interventions that have been scientifically tested in controlled studies and proven effective. EBP implies that there is a definable outcome(s), which are measurable and are defined according to practical realities (recidivism, victim satisfaction, etc.). 

Interventions within corrections are considered effective when they reduce offender risk and subsequent recidivism. (Note - recidivism can be defined in many ways, i.e., re-arrest, re-conviction, parole revocation, return to incarceration, return to prison.) When offender risk is reduced, there are fewer victims of crime and public safety is enhanced. 

Listed below are the commonly used Evidence-Based Principles for Community Corrections: 

  • Assess Actuarial Risk/Needs. 
  • Enhance Intrinsic Motivation. 
  • Target Interventions. 
    • Risk Principle: Prioritize supervision and treatment resources for higher risk offenders. 
    • Need Principle: Target interventions to criminogenic needs. 
    • Responsivity Principle: Be responsive to temperament, learning style, motivation, culture, and gender when assigning programs. 
    • Dosage: Structure 40-70% of high-risk offenders' time for 3-9 months. 
    • Treatment: Integrate treatment into the full sentence/sanction requirements. 
  • Skill Train with Directed Practice (use Cognitive Behavioral treatment methods). 
  • Increase Positive Reinforcement.
  • Engage Ongoing Support in Natural Communities. 
  • Measure Relevant Processes/Practices. 
  • Provide Measurement Feedback. 

Risk/Needs Assessment 
Actuarial risk assessment instruments have been shown to be more accurate than even the best clinical judgment in determining offender risk. Unfortunately, only a few state judges and courts in the United States have experience in using risk/needs assessment information in sentencing offenders or responding to violations of parole. 

Use of risk and needs assessment information is critical in making evidence- based judicial determinations of important recurring sentencing issues, such as: 

  • Offender's suitability for diversion; 
  • Most appropriate conditions of probation to be imposed; 
  • Offender's amenability to treatment; 
  • Most appropriate treatment or level of supervision to be imposed; 
  • Most appropriate sanction or behavioral control mechanism to be imposed; 
  • Kind of sanction, incentive or additional service to be ordered upon a violation of probation; and 
  • Whether or when to revoke probation. 

In the recent Indiana Supreme Court decision in the case of Malenchik v. State of Indiana, the court observed that "the concept of evidence-based sentencing practices has considerable promise for the goal of reduced offender recidivism and improvement of sentencing outcomes." 

CalRAPP Final Report 
The California Risk Assessment Pilot Project: The Use of Risk and Needs Assessment Information in Adult Felony Probation Sentencing and Violation Proceedings, December 2015 

The California Risk Assessment Pilot Project (CalRAPP) began in 2009 as a joint project of the Judicial Council of California (JCC) and the Chief Probation Officers of California, and is funded by the National Institute of Corrections and the State Justice Institute.

 This pilot project, which took place in four California counties (i.e., Napa, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Yolo), focused on evidence-based practices and the ways in which risk and needs assessment (RNA) information can be incorporated into adult felony probation sentencing and violation proceedings. Some highlighted findings include: 

  • Probation departments in the pilot sites sentenced a significantly lower proportion of adult felony probationers to prison and jail compared to probation departments in the rest of the state; and 
  • Individual-level findings support the predictive validity of the RNA tools utilized by the pilot sites as tools that are able to predict the occurrence of future noncompliant behavior.