Justice Advocates Worry About Impact Of November Vote

Prison cells
Brooke Brown
September 18, 2020

This story was written in partnership with Represent Justice.

On November 3rd, California voters will see Proposition 20 (Prop 20) on their ballot. And you’ll be appalled at what our friends at Represent Justice are saying will happen to our people if this passes.

Prop 20 will INCREASE the already overfilled prison population by reclassifying lowest-level misdemeanor violations as FELONY offenses.

Lowering the threshold for what counts as a felony to include non-violent, petty crimes will only serve to incarcerate more Black people who already make up a disproportionate segment of the prison population. And unfortunately, there’s more problems with this measure.

Prop 20 won’t help parole seekers gain freedom, nor will it improve public safety. It will make certain crimes ineligible for parole, which reduces incarcerated people’s incentive to participate in education and rehabilitation services. 

Did we mention the authors of Prop 20 also want to create a DNA bank by collecting samples from individuals accused in misdemeanor cases like shoplifting?! This could disrupt a person’s right to privacy if they’re not careful.

This ballot initiative rolls back hard-fought progress from recent sentencing reform measures. We need to move forward and settle for nothing less than fair justice for those most in need.

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