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Friday, September 25, 2020

Criminal Justice Reforms Under Fire

In 2018, former California Governor Jerry Brown signed a controversial piece of legislation into law that ended cash bail in the Golden State. Senate Bill 10 put the decision for when a criminal defendant was eligible for release in the hands of judges.

Another relatively recent criminal justice reform is Proposition 47. The ballot measure reduced the California prison population. The financial savings from housing fewer prisoners led to a more significant investment in victims' services, schools, and treatment programs. By keeping 4,569 inmates out of prison, Prop. 47 is projected to save $122.5 million next fiscal year, according to KQED. The savings is up from $44 million in the previous fiscal year.

Both SB 10 and Prop. 47 have been hailed by criminal justice advocates and decried by law enforcement organizations. 2020 will put both criminal justice reforms to the test.

 

Rolling Back Criminal Justice Reforms


KQED reports that voters will have the option to roll back Prop. 47 and SB 10 this November. Some readers may remember that the latter never took effect because the money bail industry gathered enough signatures to qualify for a referendum for the November 2020 ballot. 

Proposition 20: A "yes" means: People who commit certain theft-related crimes (such as repeat shoplifting) could receive increased penalties (such as longer jail terms). Additional factors would be considered for the state's process for releasing certain inmates from prison early. Law enforcement would be required to collect DNA samples from adults convicted of certain misdemeanors. 

Proposition 25: A "no" vote is to repeal the contested legislation, Senate Bill 10 (SB 10), thus keeping in place the use of cash bail for detained suspects awaiting trials.

Political consultant, Dan Newman, helped push many of the earlier reforms, according to the article. He says that he is not worried about the two propositions given the current climate regarding policing and racism in America.

"I think people are looking for ways to channel what they know and believe into real action and real reform and make a difference," said Newman. "So it's just sort of a matter of ensuring that they know: If you care about mass incarceration, if you care about racial injustice, here are some ways that you can really weigh in with power and make a difference."  

 

Southern California Criminal Defense Attorney

Please contact the Law Office of Ronald G. Brower if you are facing criminal charges. Attorney Brower has more than 30 years of experience; he has the expertise to advocate for you. Please call (714) 997-4400 for a consultation.

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