Free Our People from Prison

Goal: End incarceration, get people home, and protect the rights and dignity of those who are inside until they are free.

2019:

Much of our efforts will be about ensuring the promises made through legislative organizing in 2018 and previous years are translated into people actually becoming free in 2019. This includes making sure CDCR honors the will and intentions of voters for Prop.57, securing relief through retroactive sentencing reforms such as 1437, and developing infrastructure for new laws that still require infrastructure, such as 2942. And as we work to get the most out of these legislative wins (some in the courtroom), we will aim to advance legal and legislative changes to find the same pathways home for people currently doing LWOP and others who have been excluded from reforms. We will also protect SB 1391 and making sure youth in the juvenile justice system are given all the services and support them and their families need so the rehabilitative purpose of the juvenile justice system is met. As well as fair parole hearings which will bring forth true rehabilitation and  will ensure security for public safety.

As we start the year:

We are coming off what appears to be a big win in terms of getting CDCR to more properly interpret Prop 57, and allowing “non-violent” 3 Strikers to get the relief voters intended. We are seeing 1437 play out in the courts — it being used to cancel out what otherwise would be life cases, as well as bringing people back for resentencing. In the juvenile context, we are seeing DA offices, in particular, the Santa Clara County DA challenge the reform laws through the appellate and writ process. Local law enforcement are doing this in the adult context  as well, filing gun charges in federal court to avoid the reformed sentencing standards in the state system. There is a concerted and resourced effort by prosecutors and other law enforcement to roll back these important legislative wins, and we anticipate a fight in the legislature and ballot box.


KEY MATERIAL:


MEDIA:


TIMELINE AND STATUS:

1988: The California Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention Act (STEP Act), commonly known as the Gang Enhancement Laws passes; impacting youth and adults of color for the next couple of decades.

2000: California’s Proposition 21, the “Juvenile Justice Initiative” was approved; further criminalizing our youth by giving control to District Attorneys to directly file charges against juvenile offenders in adult court, as well as barring youth to seal their juvenile record even after years of rehabilitation.

May 2016: Governor Jerry Brown submits nearly a million signatures after a successful statewide petition campaign to have the Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act of 2016 on the November ballot.

November 2016: Californians vote in Proposition 57, marking a historic shift in criminal justice policies, and carving a pathway for thousands of people to be free from the prison system, or not enter it to begin with.
 

CAMPAIGN STATUS: WE WON!

On November 8th, 2016 California voters passed Proposition 57! Over 63% of the electorate voted for the proposition that gave discretion back to the judges for juvenile adjudication, and will result in parole reviews for some, and early release credits for those in the California prison system.

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ASSIST IN THE CAMPAIGN:

  • Silicon Valley De-Bug is the lead organization in Santa Clara County for the statewide campaign. Email: info@siliconvalleydebug.org to find out time for voter phone banking and precinct walking dates.

  • Follow and share social media for the campaign using the #YesonProp57.

  • Get your community to vote for Proposition 57 in the November election.