TIME SPENT IN OUTPATIENT TREATMENT PROGRAM SHOULD BE COUNTED TOWARD CUSTODY CREDITS
The authority for “half-time” credits lies in Penal Code § 4019. Per Penal Code § 4019
“It is the intent of the Legislature that if all days are earned under this section, a term of four days will be deemed to have been served for every two days spent in actual custody.” Cal. Penal Code § 4019(f).
This code indicates that a defendant shall have served their sentence once half of the term completed has been actually served in custody. It is the obligation of the court to determine at the time of sentencing the actual time and conduct credits to be subtracted against the total sentence per Cal. Rules of Court, Rule 4.310. The statement of credits should include the total credits given broken down into actual time and good time conduct credits.
Per People v. Jones (1995) 11 Cal. 4th 118, California Supreme Court decided that persons committed to California rehabilitation centers “CRC’s” are not entitled to good behavior and participation credits citing to that CRC’s do not fall under the criteria of “county jail, industrial farm, or road camp or a city jail, industrial farm, or road camp” per Penal Code § 2931 and 2933. Legislature subsequently amended Penal Code § 2931 to make its provisions inapplicable to any person whose crime was committed after January 1, 1983. This amendment precludes post-1982 CRC inmates from claiming the good behavior and participation credits of Penal Code § 2931.
Inmates who are not mentally disordered sex offenders (MDSO) are eligible for credit for time served in state hospitals. People v. Cowsar (1974) 40 Cal.App.3d 578, 579. Unlike CRC's, state hospitals are secure facilities that bear few differences from prison. The purpose of punishment and treatment of criminal offenders serves to discourage for future criminal activity, to confine the offender so that he may not harm society and to correct and rehabilitate the offender. In re Estrada (1965) 63 Cal.2d 740, 745. The time spent involuntarily confined at state hospital serves all of the permissible purposes of punishment and cannot be distinguished from jail time for sentencing purposes.
Defendant asserts that he is similarly situated with defendants remanded to the custody of a California state hospital. He asserts that the court’s minute orders made on [date] state that his placement is a “treatment center”. He was placed under a Murphy conservatorship, served time at state hospital, and subsequently was placed in a treatment center by his conservator. His conservator, the Public Guardian holds the power to place a conservatee in a closed locked treatment facility with proper notice under Welf. & Inst. Code, § 5358(d)(3). Defendant alleges that placement in a closed locked treatment facility is no different from a jail director ordering a defendant be placed in the custody of state hospital. See People v. Jones (1995) 11 Cal. 4th 118 (KENNARD, J., Dissenting).
Defendant asserts that any allegation that treatment in a closed locked treatment facility or institute for the mentally disordered (IMD) is distinguishable from those placed in CRC’s is misplaced. A CRC generally refers to an unlocked facility with limited hours. Clients are able to leave the facility grounds and can return within the day thus allowing them some degree of freedom [ask a supervisor about this fact] not found in state hospitals or IMDs or closed locked treatment facilities.
A defendant found incompetent to stand trial, committed to a state hospital until they regained competency, and have had criminal proceedings resumed to move forward with the process of convicting them of the crimes charged, shall be entitled to presentence custody credits for the time spent in the state hospital. People v. Cowsar (1974) 40 Cal.App.3d 578, 579. The Cowsar court found that time spent in a state hospital serves all of the permissible purposes of punishment and cannot be distinguished from presentence jail time for sentencing purposes. LPS Conservatees under Welf. & Inst. Code, § 5350 et seq and Murphy conservatees are two classes of people who are subject to involuntary closed locked placement by a conservator. Defendant distinguishes his case from MDSOs who are not eligible for custody credits for time spent in state hospital. People v. Sage (1980) 26 Cal.3d 498, 502–503. In People v. Waterman (1986) 42 Cal.3d 565, 569 the court noted that the compelling state interest triggers disparate cautious treatment of MDSOs who, unlike other patients, harbored dangerous mental disorders and that the legislature did not believe that the therapeutic needs of dangerous, mentally disordered persons could be served by reducing confinement time on the basis of mere good behavior and participation inside the institution. [DEFENDANT will need to overcome the fact that Murphy conservatees are not considered similarly situated with LPS Conservatees as the protection of the public is the first priority in Murphy conservatorships and Murphy conservatorships are only considered for dangerous offenders. Welf & I C §5350(b)(2)!] Defendant was in the custody of state hospital solely as a Murphy conservatee not as a MDSO. Defendant asserts that there is no distinguishable difference between placement in a state hospital and placement in a closed locked treatment center.
Defendant claims that if the trial court denies him credit for the time he spends at the treatment program will violate the United States Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment clause guarantee of equal protection. The equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment denies states the power to legislate that treatment criterion differ placed on a set of criteria that are wholly unrelated to the overarching import of said statute. The first prerequisite to an equal protection clause claim is a showing that the state has adopted a classification that affects two or more similarly situated groups in an unequal manner. This inquiry does not call that these two classes of persons are similarly situated for all legal purposes, but whether they are similarly situated for purposes of the law in question. The court must determine whether these two classes are different in similar factual presentation and outcomes with respect to implementation of said law to warrant disparate treatment. If the two groups are similarly situated, the next question is whether the state has justified the disparate treatment, applying either the rational basis or strict scrutiny test, as appropriate, to analyze the statute's constitutionality.
Defendant acknowledges that case law has recognized that criminality and dangerousness is the basis for adopting different types of civil commitments, but points out that consideration of prior criminal conduct as a basis for distinguishing among dangerous persons must be reasonable. The law enacting Murphy conservatorship, creates a divide between LPS Conservatees and Murphy conservatees as Murphy conservatorships bear the requirement that the person is a substantial danger to others by reason of mental disease whereas LPS Conservatees need only prove current grave disability. Although the court may assume the argument that the statute denies equal protection over this fact, defendant argues that for the sake of placement in state hospital and punishment, defendant’s incompetence to stand trial bears no rational relationship to grave disability as the issue before the court is whether placement in a closed locked treatment facility is the same as state hospital placement for sake of conduct credits. Defendant argues that it is not a reasonable distinction to say that individuals in the situation of being “forced” into a closed locked facility are
distinguishable from state hospital for conduct credit reasons. Defendant does acknowledges that civil commitment proceedings are not criminal proceeding, but they are often collateral to a criminal trial. He avers that some constitutional protections available in the criminal context apply to defendants in certain commitment proceedings as a matter of ensuring due process as involuntary state sanctioned confinement can “assure in many cases an unbroken and indefinite period of state-sanctioned confinement [given that] the theoretical maximum period of detention is life as successive petitions may be filed”. (Conservatorship of Roulet (1979) 23 Cal.3d 219, 223-224 at pp. 223–224, 230, fn. omitted [further noting unfair stigma and special threats to reputation attached to grave disability proceedings). The nature of due process protection claims require a finding that the groups are similarly situated for purposes of requiring the state to justify this disparate treatment and defendant asserts that there is no justification factually. The primary benefit of involuntary placement of a Murphy conservatee in a closed locked treatment facility is that it provides them with individualized treatment and protection of the public; a mirror goal that exists for all state hospital involuntary commitment schemes.
[DEFENDANT again needs to distinguish between the timelines for when Murphy conservatorships which can be renewed and the fact that he has been released from state hospital BUT is technically on Murphy still so the risk of return to state hospital is there but less so. DISTINGUISH centering on criminal procedures not Murphy since that is what opposing counsel will focus on.]
To withhold the credits from those committed to treatment facilities would discourage prisoners from accepting treatment plans and would be akin to treating Murphy conservatees in closed locked treatment facilities as unequal to inmates in state hospitals.
Legislature has recently provided that inmates convicted of certain serious felonies can earn only a greatly reduced amount of credit and that those who commit other particularly violent crimes are not entitled to any credits Pen. Code, § 2933.1; 2933.5; Welf. Inst. Code, § 3052.)
Check the case file and with counsel about whether defendant’s charges are of such a nature.
Juvenile Dependency and