Legislators announce parole reform bill inspired by Jaycee Dugard case 

State representatives in Sacramento today introduced a parole reform bill inspired by the Jaycee Dugard case.

State Sen. Ten Gaines, R-Roseville, Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, and Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley announced the “The Parole Reform Act of 2011” to address what they see as problems with the current parole system.

“It’s a refining of the process so it has a better result,” said Bonilla, who co-authored the bill.

The state parole board currently focuses on the behavior of an inmate in prison when deciding whether to grant parole to those serving life sentences, Gaines said.

A California Supreme Court decision in 2008 reaffirmed that approach and the number of paroles granted has since tripled, Gaines said.

“Phil Garrido knew exactly what he had to do to be granted parole,” Gaines said. “We’re putting our citizens at risk.”

The legislation being introduced today, Senate Bill 391, would allow the California parole board to consider the nature of the crime and would place “the burden of proof” on the inmates to prove why they should be paroled, Bonilla said.

“You have some criminals who are able to work the system,” Bonilla said. “The parole board should have all the tools.”

With bipartisan support, Gaines is hopeful the Legislature could pass the bill before the end of its session on Sept. 9.

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