iStock_000042897314_LargeAccording to California Law, compassionate release exists to allow someone an early release from county jail or prison, primarily for a severe medical condition or humanitarian reason. Compassionate release is not based on good behavior but is granted due to a medical or humanitarian change in the inmate’s situation. California law specifically allows for a compassionate release based on the grounds of “particularly extraordinary or compelling circumstances which could not reasonably have been foreseen by the court at the time of sentencing.” To date, 39 states offer compassionate release to chronically or terminally ill prisoners. Before being released, it must be determined that the inmate is not a threat to public safety. Compassionate release primarily is granted in California after a medical professional examines the prisoner and determines he or she has about six to 18 months left to live or is dealing with an incurable and debilitating condition, even if it is a mental illness. Obtaining a compassionate release for an inmate is a process that involves first petitioning the jail warden or court, drawing awareness to a severe or terminally illness.

Medical probation from jail or prison

Even if death is not foreseen in the near future, someone still may qualify for compassionate release in California. The law also permits a person from being released from jail on medical probation. This means the individual may have to return to jail once his or her medical state has improved. In California, an inmate could be put on medical probation if he or she has a medical condition that keeps him or her from performing basic activities each day and/or if round the clock care is needed in the hospital or a rehabilitation setting. Sometimes, the court even may grant medical probation so a person can be offered 24-hour-a-day medical care in his or her own home.

Medical probation is also available to those whom are serving a sentence in the state prison system. A prisoner in California can qualify for medical probation if he or she is suffering from a medical condition that has become incapacitating. The prisoner only is granted medical probation only if he or she is not a safety risk to the public, however.

At times, compassionate release or temporary probation has been granted to those who have lost close family members and are in a severe state of mourning and/or depression.

Where to turn

If you have a loved one in jail or prison in California, and he or she is in a severe medical state, it is important to contact an experienced defense attorney. A knowledgeable attorney can assist an inmate or family member with achieving a compassionate release or medical probation. Working with an attorney will ensure the process is done correctly and mercy is granted to those who are suffering in the criminal justice system. Contact my office to learn how I can assist you or your loved one today. My office understands the benefits that results from obtaining medical aid outside of the prison system.