Statement on the Passage of Proposition 47

November 4, 2014

Contact: Mike Smith, 510-600-5542, mike@safeandjust.org

Statement on Passage of Proposition 47

With California voters having passed Proposition 47, the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act, the following is a statement from Lenore Anderson, Chair of the initiative’s ballot committee (Californians for Safe Neighborhoods and Schools) and Executive Director of Californians for Safety and Justice (a nonprofit working since 2012 to advance smart justice approaches that improve safety and reduce costs).

The passage of Proposition 47 is a historic moment in California. California has gone from a state epitomizing our country’s over-reliance on incarceration to now leading the nation in advancing smart justice. It is a true breakthrough.

By passing Prop. 47, California voters show that they understand that the policies of the past have failed and that we cannot incarcerate our way to safety. Californians do not want to waste any more costly prison space on nonviolent, non-serious offenses – or our precious justice resources on ineffective policies that drain tax dollars, lead to high recidivism rates and tear apart communities.

Prop. 47’s passage shows what is possible when a diverse coalition comes together to fix the serious problems we collectively face. We built this campaign with unlikely allies and people of all walks of life: liberals and conservatives, law enforcement veterans, crime victims, teachers, business and labor, faith leaders, civil rights champions and more. This is the kind of collaboration that the public craves – putting aside differences to advance smart policies that improve the lives of all Californians.

The Prop. 47 victory is a rallying cry for leaders in local, state and national government. The public clearly supports replacing bloated, costly and ineffective prison systems with smarter approaches focused on preventing crime.

Proposition 47 is a huge victory for the state –and for criminal justice reform advocates across the nation.

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