Resentencing Policy FAQs

En Español

Resentencing Policy FAQs (updated on March 6, 2024)

This FAQ page provides additional information about the District Attorney’s resentencing policy set forth in Special Directive 22-05, issued in 2022.

In April of 2021, District Attorney George Gascón established a Resentencing Unit (RU) to implement contemporary resentencing laws and policies to address over-incarceration. The RU evaluates sentences that meet certain criteria, referred to as a “tier,” and does not accept resentencing requests from outside sources other than the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). Please note that the tier of cases being reviewed was recently updated to include robberies without a weapon and residential burglaries with no one present. 

To determine if a case qualifies for review by the RU, or if a request for resentencing can be made to other units within the District Attorney’s Office, please review the questions and answers below for more information.

What is the District Attorney’s prosecution-initiated resentencing policy?

District Attorney George Gascón is committed to reviewing the sentences of incarcerated people to determine if they are no longer appropriate under current law and/or office policy. 

Penal Code section 1172.1(a)(1) authorizes the District Attorney to initiate requests for resentencing in the interest of justice, commonly referred to as “Prosecution Initiated Petitions.” Office policy for making such requests can be found in Section 17.09.01 of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Legal Policies Manual (added by Special Directive 22-05). 

In making an “interest of justice” determination, we look at factors outlined in Penal Code sections 1172.1(a)(4) and 1385(c)(1) for guidance. Some examples include: pre-conviction psychological trauma or physical abuse which contributed to the commission of the offense that was not taken into consideration at the original sentencing; whether the person received a disparate sentence than others for similar conduct; the use of multiple sentencing “enhancements” for the same conduct; the age of the person at the time of the crime; the amount of time already served in custody; and the overall conduct of the individual while in custody. Additional factors such as in-prison rehabilitation; disciplinary history; re-entry plans; evidence that reflects whether age, time already served, or diminished physical condition, if any, have reduced the risk for future violence; and evidence that reflects that circumstances have changed since the original sentencing so that continued incarceration is no longer in the interest of justice, will also be taken into consideration.

Is the District Attorney's Office reviewing cases for possible resentencing?


It is estimated that as many as 20,000 cases may qualify for possible resentencing under the District Attorney’s resentencing policy Because of the large number of cases eligible for consideration, the RU was established.  The RU is responsible for implementing a fair, orderly, and efficient process for evaluating cases for resentencing.

Although the District Attorney may recommend an individual be resentenced, a judge ultimately decides whether to grant or deny such a request.  

Will certain cases be given priority by the Resentencing Unit?


Cases prioritized by the RU fall into two categories, as follows:


a)     Age 50 and older; AND

b)     Sentenced to 20 years or more; AND

c)     Served a minimum of 10 years in custody; AND

d)     Serving a sentence for a non-serious or nonviolent felony [Serious and violent felonies are defined in Penal Code section 1192.7(c) and Penal Code section 667.5(c)]; OR a robbery without the use of a weapon; OR a residential burglary without anyone present; AND

e)     Has not suffered a prior conviction for a “super strike,” as defined in Penal Code section 667(e)(2)(C)(IV); AND

f)       Is not a sex offender registrant.


Minors Tried as Adults

a)     Sentenced for a crime that was committed at age 14 or 15; AND

b)     Not serving time for murder; AND

c)     Has served a minimum of 10 years in custody; AND

d)     Is not a sex offender registrant.

Once the review of the above listed cases has been completed, the website will be updated to identify new categories of cases that will be reviewed for possible resentencing under Penal Code section 1170(d). Please note that the categories of cases to be reviewed in the future have not yet been determined.

Due to the high volume of cases we are reviewing, we are not able to respond to your resentencing inquiries. Rest assured, the incarcerated individual will be contacted should we decide to move forward with resentencing.

Please keep in mind that contacting our office to provide unsolicited information regarding a particular individual or to ask for an update is not helpful and, in fact, severely detracts from our ability to review these cases in a fair, orderly and expeditious manner.


Can I request that the District Attorney consider a case for resentencing if I am not in the tier of cases being prioritized by the RU?


The incarcerated individual, or their counsel, can write to the Head Deputy of the Division or Branch responsible for prosecuting the case within the District Attorney’s Office and request to be resentenced.. The written request should include an explanation of why the person believes they should be resentenced, provide all mitigating circumstances, and proof of all programs or other rehabilitation experiences they have participated in while incarcerated. If the incarcerated individual has not already served 10 years in custody, has a high classification or CSRA/CRA score, or has been disciplined for serious rules violation in the past three years, resentencing consideration is unlikely.

To view the office's organizational chart, please click here

To view the office directory, please click here

Will I know if a case is being considered for resentencing?

Yes. You will be notified by the District Attorney’s Office, your attorney, or a nonprofit organization with whom we are collaborating that your case is under consideration for resentencing. 

When there is a determination that your case is being considered, you will be notified in writing.

Will victims be notified if a case is being considered for resentencing?


You, your attorney, or the nonprofit organization with whom you are collaborating will be notified by the DA’s office, in writing, that your case is being evaluated for resentencing.  

What should I do if I fall within the tier of cases being prioritized for review by the RU?

If your case meets each of the criteria set forth above and you have not been contacted, you, a family member, or your attorney may contact the RU at to inquire about the status of your case. When contacting the Resentencing Unit, please provide the following identifying information regarding the incarcerated individual: full name, date of birth, criminal court case number (if known), and CDCR number. 

Will victims be notified if a case is being considered for resentencing?


The District Attorney’s Office will notify crime victims and provide an opportunity for them to be heard.

In conformity with state law and as part of its evaluation process, the District Attorney’s Office will endeavor to contact impacted crime victims and provide notice of any upcoming court proceedings. Crime victims will have an opportunity to address the District Attorney’s Office and the court as part of any resentencing proceeding. If you are a victim of a crime and want to ensure that your voice is heard in a case that may be considered for resentencing, please confirm your contact information by calling the Bureau of Victim Services, or emailing them at Be prepared to provide your telephone number and email address, your name, the full name of the defendant, and the court case number if available.  

Does the District Attorney decide whether or not a person will be resentenced?


Decisions to reduce sentences are made by judges, not by the District Attorney.

Although the District Attorney may request an individual’s sentence be reduced, the decision to grant or deny such a request is made by the original sentencing judge or a judge appointed by the presiding judge of the courthouse where the matter was prosecuted.

Do I need a lawyer for resentencing consideration?

The RU works closely with public defenders and nonprofit organizations to ensure that every person the RU recommends for resentencing has access to free legal services.  Individuals, however, are always free to hire their own lawyer.

For cases that fall outside of the tier the RU evaluates, the court will appoint an attorney if the matter is referred to the court for resentencing unless the individual is already represented.

Will the District Attorney's Office provide additional information about its resentencing process?


Updates to policy and procedures regarding resentencing will be posted to this web page.