Prop 57 Criminal Justice Reform the Right Way
California voters sent a clear message when they passed Proposition 57 last November: our criminal justice system needs to give people a chance at rehabilitation and reintegration. But that was only half the battle: now California prisons, which are responsible for the implementation of the new law, want to adopt rules that seriously undermine Prop. 57. That is not okay.
It is widely understood that rehabilitation and integration help break the cycle of incarceration and promote community safety and wellbeing. That was the whole point of Prop. 57. Under it, people can earn time toward their release by participating in rehabilitative and educational programs that will help them better integrate into society after release. The law also makes people convicted of nonviolent offenses eligible for earlier consideration for parole.
Voters approved Prop. 57 because they saw the value of rehabilitation and reintegration, particularly for young people. But CA prisons just announced a plan to undercut this voter-passed law and unnecessarily keep low-risk people in prison at a cost of $70,000 a year each — for no good reason at all.
Prop. 57 must be implemented as intended, especially when it comes to young people. California prisons must carry out the law, not create rules to get around it.