We are excited to share a newly updated resource for people in California seeking resentencing. 

Back to Court: A Resentencing Guide for Penal Code section 1172.1 and New Sentence Enhancement Laws in California

Descarga la guía (2020) en español. Estamos traduciendo la nueva guía y estará disponible a finales de este año.

De regreso a la corte: Una guía para la resentencia por la Ley de Reforma para una Sentencia Justa (SB 1393) y la § 1170(d)(1) del CP

The RISE Act – SB483 will remove over 20,000 years of incarceration for people in California’s prisons and jails. Does your loved one have a 1 or 3 year sentence enhancement for a prison prior? SB483 is a RETROACTIVE repeal of these enhancements! FAQ here.

You can also check out our general resource Paths to Release for People Incarcerated in California which describes a variety of ways to advocate for yourself or your loved one’s freedom.

This toolkit discusses recent bills that Ella Baker Center helped to pass that created new opportunities for people to get back to court for resentencing. These new laws include:

SB 1393 (Mitchell, Lara – effective January 1, 2019) ended the mandatory requirement that judges add a 5-year sentence enhancement for each prior serious felony on a person’s record, also referred to as a “nickel prior.” While SB 1393 was not retroactive, it is now possible to request a referral for the discretionary resentencing of these enhancements. This toolkit provides information for people serving and/or appealing sentences with 5-year enhancements on how to request resentencing and what to expect in the referral and resentencing process.  

SB 180 (Mitchell) repealed the three-year enhancement for prior drug-related felonies (Health and Safety Code § 11370.2). This repeal went into effect on January 1, 2018. This law does not apply to prior convictions involving a minor (HSC § 11380).

SB 136 (Wiener), a reintroduction of SB 1392 (Mitchell), eliminated the mandatory one-year enhancement for prior felonies that resulted in a prison or jail term (PC § 667.5). This repeal went into effect on January 1, 2020. This law does not apply to prior convictions of a sexually violent offense as described in Welfare and Institutions Code section 6600(b).

Senate Bill 483 (Allen) is the Repeal Ineffective Sentencing Enhancements (RISE) Act of 2021 and it was signed by Governor Newsom and went into effect on January 1, 2022. SB 483 authorizes courts to retroactively remove these 1-year prison prior and 3-year drug prior enhancements from the sentences of currently or formerly incarcerated people, whether they are still on appeal or their sentence is “final.”

This toolkit also discusses in detail the recently expanded law on discretionary resentencing called PC § 1172.1 (formerly known as 1170(d)(1) and 1170.03) Recall of Sentence and Resentencing. This is an exciting area of law due to the 2018 passage of AB 1812 and AB 2942 (Ting). These laws expanded the possibility for post-conviction relief, gave CDCR funding to make resentencing referrals, and gave District Attorneys the ability to make resentencing referrals as of January 1, 2019. AB 1540 and AB 200 went into effect in 2022, creating a strong presumption in favor of resentencing, court timelines to ensure timely resentencing, and creating new guidelines to ensure that a person is appointed counsel, notified of resentencing, and calendared for a hearing.

We hope the information in this Toolkit will help people advocate for themselves for resentencing in a number of contexts.The Toolkit includes an Appendix with some further resources, as well as a Resource List if you would like to request further information to assist you in your self-advocacy.

Please send us your feedback on this Toolkit and your resentencing experiences to:

Ella Baker Center for Human Rights
1419 34th Ave, Suite 202, Oakland, CA 94601

Your loved ones and support network can also reach out to policy@ellabakercenter.org with questions or comments.