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California Law Revision Commission

General Information

Mission. The California Law Revision Commission is an independent state agency created by statute in 1953. It assists the Legislature and Governor by examining California law and recommending needed reforms.

Active Studies. Active Commission studies are listed in the sidebar to the right. If you are interested in following a particular study, you can subscribe to receive e-mail notices whenever material related to that topic is uploaded to this site. The notices will include a link to download the new material.

Meetings. The Commission performs its work in open public meetings. The agenda for each meeting includes links to download the materials that will be discussed at the meeting. Decisions made at Commission meetings are recorded in the official minutes for each meeting.

Recommendations. Once the Commission has made preliminary decisions on how to reform the law, it issues a tentative recommendation soliciting public comment on the proposed reform. After the Commission has thoroughly considered public input on the proposal, it will typically make a final recommendation, which is delivered to the Legislature and the Governor and then published. The final recommendation includes a narrative explanation of the proposed law, proposed statutory language, and official comments on each affected code section. Historically, over 90% of the Commission's recommendations have been enacted into law, affecting more than 22,500 sections of the California statutory codes.

Materials. Materials relating to Commission studies can be found in a searchable index of all code sections affected by Commission recommendations, a searchable index of all staff memoranda, and a catalog of all final recommendations and reports.

Personnel. The Commission consists of seven members appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate, one Senator, one Assembly Member, and the Legislative Counsel. The Commission is supported by a small professional staff. Current personnel are listed here.

Contact Us. The Commission welcomes public participation in its process. Public testimony and written comments play an important part in shaping Commission decisions. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments that you have regarding the Commission or its work.

Committee on Revision of the Penal Code

On January 1, 2020, a new policy-making body will be created within the Law Revision Commission -- the Committee on Revision of the Penal Code.

The Committee will have seven members -- one Member of the Senate appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules, one Member of the Assembly appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly, and five members appointed by the Governor. The Chair of the Committee will be selected by the Governor. Members of the Commission may not be members of the Committee.

The Committee will have the following duties:

(a) The committee shall study and make recommendations on revision of the Penal Code to achieve all of the following objectives:
(1) Simplify and rationalize the substance of criminal law.
(2) Simplify and rationalize criminal procedures.
(3) Establish alternatives to incarceration that will aid in the rehabilitation of offenders.
(4) Improve the system of parole and probation.
(b) In making recommendations pursuant to subdivision (a), the committee may recommend adjustments to the length of sentence terms. In making that recommendation, the committee may consider any factors, including, but not limited to, any of the following:
(1) The protection of the public.
(2) The severity of the offense.
(3) The rate of recidivism.
(4) The availability and success of alternatives to incarceration.
(5) Empirically significant disparities between individuals convicted of an offense and individuals convicted of other similar offenses.
(c) The approval by the commission of any recommendations by the committee is not required.
Once the Committee is created and begins its work, information about its membership, meetings, studies, and recommendations will be collected on this website. The website will also provide a way to subscribe to receive notice of Committee materials when they become available.

California Law Revision Commission
c/o UC Davis Law School
Davis, CA 95616

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