Scott Kernan is the CDCR Secretary. He says the regulations will help keep the prison system from reaching capacity.
"We need to get the population reductions, we need the inmates to participate in these programs to make our system work and avoid a court-ordered release of offenders," says Kernan.
Kernan says the system is about 1,500 inmates shy of capacity.
He says about 1,200 nonviolent offenders will be eligible for the credits this year. The state plans to reclassify "violent" offenders as "nonviolent" if they have already served their sentences for the "violent" crimes and are currently serving time for "nonviolent" offenses.
"This program would expand eligibility to all inmates in our system with the exclusion of condemned inmates and inmates that are serving a life without the possibility of parole sentence," says Kernan.
The department will reclassify inmates beginning in June. The changes could result in the release of 520 inmates this year.