Californians for Safety and Justice: Ab2765

Gov. Brown Signs Bill Giving People More Time to Change Criminal Records Under Prop. 47

AB 2765 Extends by Five Years Deadline for Applying to Have Old Felony Convictions Reduced to Misdemeanors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 28, 2016

 CONTACT: Will Matthews. Californians for Safety and Justice, (909) 261-1398will@safeandjust.org

SACRAMENTO – Gov. Jerry Brown today signed into law a bill that will enable local governments to manage their court systems in an effective and cost efficient way.

The bill, AB 2765, authored by Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) and sponsored by Californians for Safety and Justice, continues until November of 2022 the efficient administrative process through which people convicted of a felony for one of the six low level, non-violent crimes reduced to misdemeanors under Proposition 47 can apply to have that felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor, in lieu of a more burdensome process that would have begun in November 2017.  

The deadline for filing applications had been set for November of 2017, which would have resulted in courts being faced with having to process hundreds of thousands of applications between now and then.

Passed overwhelmingly in November 2014 by state voters, Prop. 47 changed the penalty for simple drug possession and five petty-theft related crimes from a felony to a misdemeanor. Savings from the resulting reduction in incarceration will be reinvested into community-based crime prevention programs, truancy and dropout prevention programs for at risk schoolchildren and trauma recovery services for victims of crime. The law also allows people with prior felony convictions for the crimes impacted by Prop. 47 to have those convictions reclassified as misdemeanors.

Prop. 47 is the largest opportunity in U.S. history for people to reduce past felony convictions on their records, and as many as one million Californians may be eligible. As of March, more than 230,000 applications had been filed.

There are nearly 5,000 restrictions placed on people with felony convictions, making it difficult for people to secure jobs, housing, student loans and other opportunities for economic security and family stability.

The following can be attributed to John J. Bauters, policy director for Californians for Safety and Justice:

“Providing people second chances is a fundamental American value.  AB 2765 ensures people can take advantage of this historic opportunity, while balancing the needs of local governments and law enforcement. We need to ensure there is ample time for people to take advantage of the chance to live down the mistakes of their past and strengthen their economic security and family stability. For too long, communities across California have suffered the negative consequences of our state’s over-reliance on incarceration and felony convictions. We need to support smart approaches to safety and justice. Proposition 47 is about cleaning up the legacy of over-incarceration and creating the healthy and safe communities we all desire.”

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