Three for One: Yes on Prop 47 for Safe Neighborhoods, Quality Schools, Healthy People
Prevention Institute strongly supports Proposition 47, the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act. By reclassifying six non-violent felonies as misdemeanors, Prop 47 will move hundreds of millions of dollars annually out of the prison system and invest it in prevention strategies. According to the National Institute of Justice, sending people to prison is not a very effective way to deter crime. It’s also incredibly expensive and in many cases unnecessary. There’s a better way.
Instead of requiring prison time for petty theft or simple drug possession, Prop 47 uses money that would otherwise be spent on incarceration to improve K-12 schools, mental health and drug treatment, and victims’ services. Tackling a complex issue like crime requires cross-sector partnerships; Prop 47 engages schools, health and social services to prevent crime and promote healing, so police and courts can focus on the most serious offenses.
Prop 47 improves the odds that people arrested for minor crimes can return to normal community life. A felony record makes it much harder to land a stable job, find housing, receive a quality education, and access support services. Communities of color are especially affected by these arrests, which carry life-long consequences. Young people, including those of color, deserve connection, opportunities and hope, and Prop 47 puts this within closer reach for all Californians.
Voting for the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act is one way that California can change course, away from a failed mass-incarceration strategy to one that emphasizes prevention and cooperation. Vote YES on Prop 47.