Californians for Safety and Justice: Smart Justice Ads, Pledge

It's Time For Smart Justice

In television ads, we're showcasing real Californians calling for smart justice policies. 

Moving TV ad of Dionne Wilson, a police widow, calling for smart justice

In another ad about our broken system, hear the critique from former Fortune 500 executive Peter Weber.

The Facts

The Cost

  • Since 1981, the cost of California’s prison system has increased 1500% 
  • The state spends 22X the percent of its general fund on corrections than it did in 1981 

The Revolving Door

  • 6 in 10 people exiting California prisons return within 3 years
  • Half of California prisoners reported drug dependency
  • 64% of jail inmates had a recent mental health problem

The Misplaced Priorities

  • California spends $60,032 per prisoner each year – an 82.3% increase since 1995 
  • California spends $8,219 per K-12 student each year – an 18% increase since 1995
  • Since 1981, California has built 22 prisons and 1 university
  • In 2012, California’s cuts to mental health services were the deepest in the nation 
  • 48 out of 58 counties have no residential drug treatment


Make a Difference – Sign the Smart Justice Pledge

California needs new safety priorities to reduce crime and costs. Sign our smart justice pledge asking local and state policymakers to:

  1. Stop the cycle of crime by investing in prevention (early childhood education, schools and community health) – not more prisons and jails
  2. Sentence people convicted of nonviolent, non-serious offenses to community supervision and rehabilitation programs that can change behavior and focus our law enforcement resources on serious and violent crime
  3. Remove barriers to recovery for victims and listen to their safety priorities 



Help Californians win new safety priorities. We pledge to support smart justice strategies that increase safety and reduce costs. Join our efforts to save justice system money so we can invest in prevention, education and health. Click here to read more.