The Honorable Ricardo Lara
Chair, Senate Appropriations Committee
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: SB 224 (Liu) – Support
Dear Senator Lara:
I am writing in support of SB 224 (Liu). This bill, supported by the California Commission on Aging, lowers the eligibility requirements for parole consideration for elderly prisoners, which would decrease the burden of incarceration on taxpayers and allow low-risk, senior prisoners to reunite with their families.
The percentage of older prisoners has more than doubled over the past decade, increasing the burden of mass incarceration on prisoners, families and taxpayers. The cost of caring for an inmate’s geriatric needs is astronomical, even though elderly prisoners are less likely to receive proper medication or accommodations. SB 224 will help lower these state costs by expanding the existing Elderly Parole Program to low-risk, incarcerated people age 50 years and older who have served at least 15 years of their sentence.
Codifying the current elder parole process and expanding it to reach a greater population of incarcerated elders is a reasonable step towards reducing overcrowding and spending on California prisons and treating our aging population compassionately and humanely.
I support SB 224, and I strongly encourage your support as well.
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