Between 1981 and 2011, the amount of money California spent on prisons increased by more than 1,500 percent, the state’s investment in crime prevention programs like drug treatment and mental health services was sharply curtailed, and California’s recidivism rate spiked to nearly 70 percent. It’s increasingly clear that our criminal justice system, predicated on an outdated “lock ‘em up and throw away the key” mentality has failed. But the passage of Proposition 47 in 2014 is helping move the state into a new era of criminal justice, with an emphasis on prevention and second chances instead of punishment.

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