I Have Been Convicted of a Felony, What is Going to Happen?
If you have been convicted of a felony, you may be frightened about the prison system. I hope that by giving you some of this information, you will have a better understanding of what you can expect. The length of your sentence is entirely dependant on your conviction, and the specific facts of your case. Prison sentencing can vary greatly, and is often at the discretion of your trial judge.
FIRST - SOME BASIC FORMS THAT ARE USED IN THE CALCULATION OF YOUR JAIL/PRISON TIME.
CDCR FORM 839 - Classification Score
All new felony inmates are classified using this form.
CDCR FORM 840 - Reclassification Score
Corrections officers use this form to evaluate inmates who have served their time within a certain custody or security level
CDCR FORM 841 - Readmission Score
Parole violators returned to custody, or parole violators with a new term are scored using this form.
CDCR FORM 602 - Administrative Appeal
Inmates who feel that they have been classified incorrectly, either for their security level or their custody level use this form to file an appeal of the determination of corrections' officers.
PHASE 1: Security Level Determination
Based on prisoner’s background, sentence length and prior misbehavior
Level 1: Score of 0 through 18
Level 2: Score of 19 through 35
Level 3: Score of 36 through 59
Level 4: Score of 60+
Mandatory minimum scores:
Condemned – 60
Life without Parole LWOP – 36
History of Escape – 19
R suffix – 19
Violence exclusion – 19
Other life sentence – 19
PHASE 2: Custody Level Determination
* Close Custody A (CCA)
* Close Custody B (CCB)
* Medium A
* Medium B
* Minimum A
* Minimum B
Greatest Restriction on Movement
Lowest Restriction on Movement
HOW IS MY CUSTODY LEVEL DETERMINED?
There are 5 factors that determine your custody level: Length of your Sentence, History of Escape, Detainer, Disciplinary, and Security Concerns.
Lengthy Sentence –
Life Without Parole (LWOP) required Close Custody A minimum of 3 years. Required close custody B, 7 years.
Escape with force, minimum Close Custody A for 8 years, +5/yrs CBC
Escape without force, minimum Close Custody A for 5 years. +5/yrs CBC
Plotting escape – minimum Close Custody A for 2 years +5/yrs CBC.
If 50+ or life detainer, must serve 3 yrs CCA
Division A-1 or Division A-2 serious disciplinary violation requires at least 1 year of Close A custody, followed by minimum 2 years CBC.
Inactive Prison Gang Member or Associate
Prisoner being reduced from Max custody due to reclassification as inactive gang member must serve 1 year CBC
Security Concern -
Replaces “Management Concern” factor. CBC due to case factors demonstrating the prisoner presents a heightened security risk.
Reviewed by classification staff annually.
CDCR has discretion to place a prisoner in lower custody level. This is most likely to occurr if the prisoner has a permanent and severe physical limitation that diminishes the need for supervision.
Some periods of time do not count toward the minimum Close Custody time, such as when the prisoner is unclassified or Maximum Custody, and (2) the amount of time in which prisoner is not in CDCR custody, except for time served in a California Out of State Correctional Facility.
If you parole while in close custody, the time served in close custody prior to release will not be counter if the prisoner returns to prison.
WHERE AM I GOING TO PRISON? (If convicted of a felony)
First stop - Reception Center (RC) Processing:
If you are a male:
You could be sent to one of the following institutions for Reception and Processing. This is where you will be assigned a counselor who evaluates your sentence and makes a security level determination, and a custody level determination using the forms available above.
California Institute for Men ("Chino")
California Correctional Institute ("Tehachapi")
Deuel Vocational Institute ("DVI" or "Gladiator School")
High Desert State Prison ("HDSP", "Susanville")
North Kern State Prison ("NKSP", "Delano")
Richard J. Donnovan Correctional Facility ("RJD", "San Diego")
San Quentin State Prison ("SQ")
Wasco State Prison ("WSP")
If you are a female:
California Institute for Women ("CIW", "Chino")
Central California Women's Facility ("CCWF", "Chowchilla")
If you are an addict:
California Rehabilitation Center ("CRC", "Norco")
If you are condemned:
Condemned males are received and housed at San Quentin
Condemned females are received and house at Chowchilla, "CCWF"
What Happens in Processing?
Social History/Staff Reports - Your assigned Counselor will complete an Institutional Staff Recommendation Summary (ISRS). Depending on your criminal history this may be CDC Form 816, CDC Form 812, CDC Form 830, 840, or 841. Your counselor will review all relevant documents available during the RC process to complete the score sheets. The Probation Officer's Report (POR) will be used if any information is conflicting because the POR is reviewed by your attorney and the court and its contents may be challenged.
Inmate Interview - In order to complete CDC Form 839, 840 or 841, the counselor must interview the inmate. During the interview, the inmate will be made aware of the nature and purpose of the form being used to classify them, and allowed to verbally contest specific score items and other case factors. Documentation for score items that is absent or conflicting shall be discussed during the interview. The inmate is responsible for providing documentation to support his or her challenge of the information on CDC Form 839. If an inmate produces verifiable documentation supporting a correction of CDC form 839, 840 or 841, the counselor shall correct the form to reflect this documentation. If the change in score results in a different security level, then the inmate will be reffered to the appropriate classification committee.
Institution Gang Investigator (IGI) - Each facility has a person specifically designated to identify whether an inmate was or is currently a member of a prison gang. The IGI completes form 812-A, Notice of Critical Information - Prison Gang Identification. Inmates are advised that any involvement with a prison gang may result in placement within segregated housing.
Immigration Hold - Inmates who are foreign born are referred to the US INS (United States Immigration and Naturalization Services) for a deportation hold determination. The counselor will completed CDC Form 850, Detainer Summary if an inmate is foreign born.
Psychiatric/Medical Referral - The counselor will refer inmates to medical staff as necessary for diagnosis, treatment, and recommendations.
Newly Received Felons - Newly received felons are classified using CDC Form 839. An inmate who has served a prior term in the CDCR, but whose commitment is subsequently discharged shall be processed as a newly received felony inmate. Parole Violators will not be scored on the CDC Form 839. Parole Violators Returned to Custody (PVRTC) and Parole Violators With a New Term (PVWNT) are scored on CDC Form 841.
Adverse and Non-Adverse Transfer Cases from California Youth Authority (CYA) - A newly received felon inmate who arrives directly from the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), or the California Youth Authority (CYA), either because the inmate has reached the maximum age, or the inmate was moved as a "program failure", and/or received a felony commitment while housed in CYA, shall be processed using CDC Form 839 and CDC Form 840. CDC Form 839 will be prepared from the date of arrival at CYA, and CDC form 840 will record the inmates positive and negative behavior while incarcerated in CYA. An ISRS will also be prepared.
CYA Parolees Sentenced to State Prison - An inmate who receives a state prison sentence while on CYA Parole will be handled as a "newly received felon." The date receieved will be the date received in RC. A CDC Form 839 will be preparaed. Documented CYA behavior will be recorded as prior incarceration behavior.
Civil Addict Commitments Excluded from California Rehabilitation Center (CRC) - An inmate excluded from the Civil Addict Program will be processed as a newly received felon inmate. The date received is recorded as the RC reception date. CDC Form 839 will be used. Any serious in custody disciplinary behavior will be documented on the Form 839.
Interstate, Federal and International Placements From Other Jurisdictions
SACCO (Sacramento Central Office) Cases
A SACCO case is one of the following:
• An inmate who was sentenced to serve a prison term in California, but is serving a concurrent or consecutive term in a facility in another jurisdiction; or
• An inmate who served time in a county jail was, sentenced to serve a prison term in California, and was released before being transferred to an RC to undergo processing because the time served in county jail was equal to or exceeded the prison sentence at the time of sentencing.
Processing SACCO cases returned to the CDCR from another agency.
• SACCO cases with a CDC Form 839.
A SACCO case who was processed through a CDCR RC and has had a CDC Form 839 prepared prior to transfer to another federal or state agency and who is returned from the other agency to finish the term imposed by California, shall have a CDC Form 840 prepared to update the inmate's
Placement Score. The CDC Form 840 shall reflect the adjustment to incarceration while housed in the other jurisdiction. An ISRS shall also be prepared.
SACCO cases without a CDC Form 839.
A SACCO case who was not processed through an RC, but who subsequently returned to California to finish his or her term, shall have both a CDC Form 839 and a CDC Form 840 prepared. The Date Received CDC on the CDC Form 839 shall be the date that is reflected on the CDC Form 112 or the Legal Status Summary. A CDC Form 840 shall also be prepared to update the inmate's placement score to reflect the inmate's adjustment to incarceration while housed in the other jurisdiction. An ISRS shall also be prepared.
Processing SACCO cases returned from parole.
If a SACCO case, who served time in a county jail or another jurisdiction, was released to parole and then returned to prison as a Parole Violator or a Parole Violator with a New Term, a CDC Form 839 and a CDC Form 841 shall both be prepared. The Date Received CDC recorded on the CDC Form 839 shall be the date indicated on the CDC Form 112 or the Legal Status Summary. The Date Received This Incarceration, recorded on the CDC Form 841, shall be the date of arrival at the RC. The CDC Form 841 shall be prepared to update the inmate's placement score. This score sheet shall include the inmate's adjustment to incarceration while housed in the other jurisdiction as well as record any changes in term points. The Date Paroled is the date that the inmate paroled from the CDCR term. An ISRS shall also be prepared.
Western Interstate Corrections Compact (WICC) and Interstate Corrections Compact (ICC) Cases
A WICC/ICC case may be either a California inmate serving a term as a boarder in another state or federal jurisdiction or an inmate who is being boarded in California, but serving a term imposed by another state or federal jurisdiction.
WICC/ICC cases arriving at an RC in California from another jurisdiction.
WICC/ICC cases arriving at an RC in California from another jurisdiction shall have a CDC Form 839 prepared during RC processing. The date that the inmate arrived in the CDCR RC shall be recorded as the Date Received CDC. Positive or negative behavior exhibited in the previous jurisdiction shall be recorded on the CDC Form 839 under "Prior Incarceration Behavior." An ISRS shall also be prepared.
WICC/ICC cases returned to California.
When a California felon inmate serving a term as a boarder in another state or federal jurisdiction is returned to California, designated staff shall prepare a CDC Form 839. The date of the inmate's original "term starts" date as noted on the Legal Status Summary shall be recorded as the Date Received CDC. A CDC Form 840 shall be prepared to update the inmate's Placement Score based on the inmate's adjustment to incarceration in the other jurisdiction. An ISRS shall also be prepared. If the inmate had been released to parole and has since returned to the RC, a CDC Form 841 shall be prepared instead of a CDC Form 840. The inmate's previous incarceration behavior and program shall be documented on an
Family Foundations Program (FFP) Program Failures and FFP Cases Returned from Parole.
The Family Foundations Program is an alternative sentencing program for pregnant or parenting women sentenced to state prison with children under the age of six. Under the authority of Penal Code § 1174.4, the Court may impose a state prison sentence with the recommendation that the defendant participate in the program. A female inmate who is sentenced to state prison by the court and subsequently accepted for the Family Foundations Program is not received at a reception center. The inmate is transferred from the county jail directly to the program. Although the inmate is issued a CDC number, a score sheet is not prepared for these inmates. Participation in the program is voluntary and the expectation is that the female inmate will complete the 12-month program prior to release back to the community. A program failure at the FFP will result in the inmate being transferred to a CDCR reception center to serve the remainder of her original sentence.
Processing FFP Inmates Received at a Reception Center as program failures.
• The inmate shall undergo reception center processing in the CDCR.
• A CDC Form 839, Classification Score Sheet, shall be prepared.
• The date that the inmate was received at the FFP shall be entered as the Date Received CDC on the CDC Form 839.
• A CDC Form 840 shall also be prepared to reflect the inmate's adjustment to the FFP when favorable behavior points or unfavorable behavior points need to be recorded.
Processing FFP Inmates Received at the Reception Center as Parole Violators.
• An inmate who was released to parole from the FFP, but returned to prison as a parole violator, shall have both a CDC Form 839 and a CDC Form 841 prepared.
• The date that the inmate was initially received at the FFP shall be entered as the Date Received CDC on the CDC Form 839.
• The date that the inmate was returned to the reception center shall be entered as the Date Received This Incarceration on the CDC Form 841.
• Favorable and/or Unfavorable Behavior points for the period in FFP until parole shall be recorded on the CDC Form 841.
The inmates' reception center will orient the inmate to prison life, including introducing the inmate to avaiable programs, and providing them with initial preparation for release.
Notification of Rules and Available Programs - Witin 14 days of the inmates' arrival to the reception center, they will be given written information concerning program availablility for reduction of sentences as required under Penal Code section 2930. Inmates will be issued a current copy of the California Code of Regulations (CCR) and treatment programs available at each institution.
C-File Documentation (Form 128-O) - Each inmate shall sign a CDC Form 128-O, Chrono-Document Receipt, indicating a receipt of the above mentioned documents. A copy of this will be placed in each inmates' C-File.
Withdrawal of Inmate Trust Funds
Counselors involved in the processing of initial commitments to the CDCR and the readmission processing of parole violators or persons returning to the CDCR shall determine if the inmate has or anticipates any outstanding debts or other financial obligations, which may require funds be withdrawn from their trust account for transmittal to any business, agency, or individual. This does not include withdrawals for purchases or for other paymentsreimbursements to the CDCR, nor does it include any debt or financial obligation, which will be met for the inmate by other means. A summary of this determination will be noted on the CDC Form 825, Trust Withdrawal Case Information.
After Processing at the Reception Center (RC), Where Will I be Transferred?
Transfers from the RC is based onthe recommendations of the counselor and supervising counselor, or the classification committee, subject to the Classification Staff Representative (CSR) approval.
Classification and reclassification of inmates will be made pursuant to the CDCR Inmate Classification Score System. Deviations from this score system are made on a case by case basis for the purpose of ensuring inmate safety, correctional personnel safety, and the general public's safety as well as special institutional or programming needs.