Alex Gudich, Deputy Director
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 1: A Day to Rally for People Impacted by the Criminal Justice System Brings Statewide Support
California Lawmakers will come Face to Face with the California Coalition, which includes, Activists, Survivors of Violent Crime, Formerly Incarcerated Individuals, Impacted Families, and Groups of Unlikely Allies to Make their Voices Heard Loud and Clear Over the Intent of Proposition 57 Proposed Regulations.
Sacramento, CA – Hundreds of advocates and formerly incarcerated leaders will converge on Sacramento this Friday to call on the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to implement Proposition 57 in accordance with the will of California voters. More than 7,000 California residents have already submitted public comment to CDCR, raising serious concerns over the proposed regulations.
The rally is being organized by the California Coalition, a group of more than 20 criminal justice organizations including #cut50, Californians for Safety and Justice, Human Rights Watch, the Young Women’s Freedom Center, Anti-Recidivism Coalition, and the Youth Justice Coalition.
Time: Friday @ 8:00AM – 12:00PM
Location: California Department of Water Resources
1416 9th St, Sacramento, California 95814
After releasing its draft implementation plan for Prop. 57, CDCR is holding a public comment hearing on September 1, 2017 at 9:00am to hear from voters, formerly incarcerated people, crime survivors and criminal justice advocates to better understand the needs of Californians and how implementation would impact the 120,000+ people currently incarcerated in the state.
The California Coalition will host a Rally and Press Conference prior to the hearing beginning at 8:00am.
Advocates believe that CDCR’s draft implementation plan excludes too many currently incarcerated individuals from receiving the benefits of Prop 57 credits and disproportionally husrts vulnerable populations like youth and people of color. The Coalition will call on CDCR to make the following amendments and implement Prop. 57 in a manner that leverages the tremendous opportunity presented by the ballot initiative to transform California prisons and reduce overcrowding:
Lack of Retroactive Application of Expanded Programming Credits. There are many people who have transformed their lives and are working hard on themselves to be productive members of society. These people should be rewarded for the years, or decades, they have been investing in rehabilitation.
Excluding nonviolent “Third Strikers” from Nonviolent Parole Eligibility. Prop. 57 promised to help people convicted of nonviolent crimes but the proposed regulations categorically prevent thousands of people sentenced to life under the Three Strikes law for nonviolent crimes. This is a missed opportunity to reduce our prison population, save taxpayers money, and listen to the preferences of the people who voted this proposition into law. This population is among the lowest risk to recidivate and will help our communities become safer.
Excluding youth. At its core, Prop. 57 promised to encourage efforts at self-improvement —there is no justifiable reason to exclude people based on age and the fact they are eligible for an earlier parole through well thought out legislation. Incentivizing people, especially young people, to better themselves should not be restricted from certain populations but offered to everyone.
33.3% Good time retroactive credit for all: people can’t change their crime but they can change who they are and transform themselves. Prop. 57 should reward people equally to incentivize and motivate rehabilitation.
In addition to the proposed changes, advocates commend the CDCR for the following components of its current plan:
Enhanced Milestones. This is a new type of credit that recognizes the accomplishments of the men and women who take the extra steps to improve themselves. Earning an AA degree or completing a Mentoring program in a Drug and Alcohol Counseling program are two ways of earning these one-time enhanced milestone credits.
People serving Indeterminate sentences can earn credit. These regulations allow people serving indeterminate sentences an opportunity to earn credits also. This provides an opportunity to incentivize a population with the lowest recidivism rate after release.
For more information on Prop 57, visit: https://www.cut50.org/prop57