By Jessica Farris, @jessraefarris
Californians have a historic opportunity to bring about needed and long-overdue criminal justice reform by voting Yes on Proposition 47.
This measure would:
- Improve public safety
- Reduce prison spending
- Increase our investment in K-12 schools, victims’ services and mental health and drug treatment.
Proposition 47, the Safe Neighborhood and Schools Act, will be on the ballot this November. It would change the lowest-level, non-violent crimes such as simple drug possession and petty theft from felonies to misdemeanors. The savings would go toward preventing crime.If it passes, California will lead the nation in ending felony sentencing for the lowest level, non-violent crimes, permanently reduce incarceration and shift $1 billion in the next five years alone from the state corrections department to K-12 school programs and mental health and drug treatment.
This reform maintains the current law for anyone with prior convictions for rape, murder or child molestation.
At the same time, Prop 47 reduces the barriers that many people with a low-level, non-violent felony conviction face to becoming stable and productive citizens, such as a lack of employment, housing and access to assistance programs and professional trades.
Yes on Proposition 47 is supported by law enforcement leaders, crime victims, teachers, rehabilitation experts, business leaders, faith-based leaders and civil rights organizations, as well as the ACLU of California.
This reform will focus our law enforcement resources on violent and serious crime, and use the savings in prison spending to prevent crime.
Don’t forget to vote Yes on Proposition 47 on November 4. The deadline to register to vote is October 20. You can register to vote online.
You can make this historic opportunity a reality by taking action in your community. See below.
Jessica Farris is policy and advocacy counsel at the ACLU of Southern California. Follow ACLU SoCal on Twitter.
Step up your ACLU game and sign up for a phone bank or canvassing opportunity to help pass Prop 47:Los Angeles County (Sign up online)
- Tues, Oct. 28, 6 PM-9 PM - All Saints Episcopal Church, 132 N Euclid Ave, Pasadena
- Wed, Oct. 29, 6 PM-9 PM- St. John the Baptist, 3848 Stewart Ave, Baldwin Park
- Sat, Nov. 1, 9 AM-1PM- All Saints Episcopal Church, 132 N Euclid Ave, Pasadena
- Sun, Nov. 2, 9 AM-1:30 PM- SCOPE 1715 West Florence Ave., Los Angeles
- Mon- Fri 6PM-9PM- ICUC Office, 4063 Mission Inn, Riverside
- Mon- Fri 6PM-9PM- Saint John's San Bernardino 1407 N. Arrowhead Ave, San Bernardino
- Saturdays from 10AM-2PM - Saint John's San Bernardino 1407 N. Arrowhead Ave, San Bernardino
- Mon-Fri 5:30PM-8:30PM- Shades of Afrika, 114 E 6th Street, Corona
- Mondays and Thursdays 5PM-9PM OCCCO, 310 W Broadway, Anaheim
- Fridays 3:30PM-7:30PM- St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 1015 Baker St, Costa Mesa
- Sundays 3:30-7:30 St. Joachim Catholic Church, 1964 Orange Ave, Costa Mesa
- Tuesday 5PM-9PM- Latino Health Access, 450 W 4th St #130, Santa Ana
- Wednesday 5:30PM-9:30PM and Saturday 9AM-1PM- Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, 1100 S Center St, Santa Ana