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 It’s increasingly clear that our criminal justice system, predicated on an outdated “lock ‘em up and throw away the key” mentality has failed.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.
Proposition 47: Protecting our safety, providing hope, healing communities
Marisa Arrona is the Proposition 47 implementation director for the nonprofit organization Californians for Safety and Justice. Prior to that, she spent nearly six years in New Orleans working on criminal justice system reform issues, including incarceration alternatives for nonviolent, low-level offenses and gang violence reduction.
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Marisa Arrona; Proposition 47: Protecting our safety, providing hope, healing communities. Boom 1 June 2016; 6 (2): 94–97. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/boom.2016.6.2.94
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