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2 denied an early release

Two inmates in state prison have been denied parole recently due to assertions by the Madera County District Attorney’s Office that they’d pose “an unreasonable risk of violence to society.”

The Board of Parole Hearings rejected early release for Marsha Delacruz and Patsy Ruth Mitchell.

Delacruz was originally convicted of robbery, attempted robbery, and auto theft, and attacked an inmate while serving her sentence in Central California Women’s Facility. Mitchell was originally convicted of assault on a peace officer with a vehicle, and also convicted of an assault on a Madera police officer in August of 2013.

Both could have been released under Proposition 57, which incentivizes sustained good behavior and program involvement by prison inmates. This opens up parole consideration for nonviolent offenders who’ve served all of their sentence for their primary offense and show they wouldn’t present an “unreasonable risk of violence” to the community.

According to the state’s Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Prop. 57 allows state prisons to avoid unearned, court-ordered inmate releases due to overpopulation, and is expected to improve inmate behavior — making prison safer for inmates and staff alike.

“We will continue to vigorously oppose Proposition 57 parole releases in every case that involves Madera County,” said Madera County District Attorney David A. Linn.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Ashley Allred filed opposition papers to Mitchell’s release and the Parole Board denied Mitchell’s request for early release on Sept. 8, Linn said.


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