California government takes a step in targeting prison reform with Prop 47. Tomorrow, Tuesday November 4th California voters will be voting on California prison reform. Prop 47 would basically reclassify drug and property crimes as misdemeanors and allow people who previously convicted these crimes to be resentenced. Some examples of felonies that would be changed to misdemeanors are: shoplifting (if it doesn’t increase $950), grand theft (if it doesn’t increase $950), forgery (if it doesn’t increase $950), fraud (if it doesn’t increase $950), writing a bad check (if it doesn’t increase $950), and personal use of illegal drugs. The prop is focused on targeting larger issues of the three strikes laws.
Currently, there are 10,000 people that would be eligible for re-sentencing. The Prop would distribute the saved money from prisoner release and not incarcerating future prisoners into a Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Fund, which is estimated to be around $150 – $250 million a year. This money would then further be distributed to the Department of Education, Board and State Community Correction, and Department of Victim Compensation. This would increase the funding for schools and programs to stop the school to prison pipeline. Prop 47 has gained a lot of public support from organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), NAACP, and the Children’s Defense Fund.
If one supports the Prop they would vote yes on Prop 47! For more information check out these links:
This serves as an important reminder to be educated on what’s going on in politics on a local, statewide, national, and global level. It also reinforces the significance of voting and citizens taking accountability for representation in their government. Politics and policy are essential in creating systemic change.