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Dispute Over 'Flash Incarcerations' Could Have Wide Impact

Publication Date: 2014-10-16
Source: Daily Journal

The Daily Journal quotes Professor Robert Weisberg on upcoming rulings regarding "flash incarcerations," which are designed to prevent parole violations. 

Prosecutors here are asking an appellate panel to rule that "flash" incarcerations - an immediate and short return to jail for up to 10 days following a county supervision violation - carry an additional year of community supervision.

It is an issue with serious legal and practical significance. If these short jail stints are classified as custodial sanctions, which require extra supervision time, it could mean many felons must be supervised for much longer periods of time.


"I could see a court saying, 'We should not treat flash incarceration as a sanction,'" said Professor Robert Weisberg of Stanford Law School. "It's a special dose to prevent a real incarceration from happening.

"It would cause it to lack the special value that the concept seems to have developed a reputation for," he said. "It strikes me as consistent with the overall intent and spirit of [legislation] that this should not be considered a sanction that extends supervision."

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