On January 13th, Black Women Organized for Political Action organized a film screening of the movie “The Bail Trap” and panelists discussed the facts of the movie and advocating for SB10, that eliminate money bail in the state.
A website promoting the knowledge and use of Proposition 47 is up and running.
The widely popular ballot initiative was passed late last year and reduces the punishment for six possible felonies, like drug possession and petty theft, to those of misdemeanors.
“This will reduce over-reliance on incarceration for nonviolent offenses,” said Hillary Blout, the statewide Prop 47 implementation manager. Smaller punishments mean less or no jail time.
This will free up space in our state jails and prisons that was not there to begin with.
“California’s prisons and jails have been overcrowded for years,” said Blout. “The focus on incarceration over prevention and rehabilitation has led to a revolving door in our jails and prisons.”
That is exactly the kind of problem Prop. 47 was drafted to fix.
“It is prioritizing law enforcement resources on serious, violent crime,” said Blout. “And investing hundreds of millions of new dollars into prevention and treatment in order to break the cycle of crime.”
With fewer people to house in jails and prisons, the state will be saving an exorbitant amount of money which they are planning to put to good use elsewhere, like schools and mental health treatment centers to name a few places.
The website offers details on how the public can give their thoughts on how the money will be best spent.
Whereas for the charged criminals directly affected, it explains how one can change possible felonies on his or her record to misdemeanors.
“That can remove barriers to jobs, housing, education and more,” said Blout.
Even incarcerated or paroled individuals can benefit from this website. “They can learn on the site how to petition a court for a new sentence,” said Blout.
The website boils down to helpful information that anyone in the neighborhood could benefit from learning.
“We wanted to make sure individuals had the best advice possible,” said Blout, “And that communities also know how to advocate for more funding for prevention and treatment.”
On May 19th an event for Prop. 47 will be held in Sacramento to educate about the prop and discuss how to reallocate the money it will be saving. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.