From The Public Affairs Desk: Your Vote Can Mean a More Merciful Criminal Justice System!
Dear Community Members,
I am excited to share about the advocacy and organizing CAIR-CA and partner organizations are doing for Proposition 47, one of the ballot measures you will have the opportunity to vote on this November.
Prop 47 is simple to describe, but its effects on communities across California will be invaluable.
Our prisons are overcrowded. While U.S. is home to 4% of the world's population, it houses 25% of all prisoners of the world. Our prisons are also disproportionately filled with African Americans and Latinos. The likelihood of being imprisoned in one's lifetime is 1 in 3 for Black men, 1 in 6 for Latino men, while it is 1 in 17 for White men.
If passed, Prop 47 would reduce the penalty for 6 low-level non-violent crimes by reclassifying them as misdemeanors rather than felonies, if defendant has no prior convictions for serious crimes. It would also require re-sentencing for anyone currently reserving a term for one of the reclassified offenses and does not pose a risk to the public. Saving accrued by the state resulting from incarcerating fewer individuals is estimated to be $150 million to $250 million per year.
The savings will be used to fund K-12 school programs, victim services, and mental health and drug treatment.
This measure would stop the waste of prison space on low-level nonviolent crimes, while keeping individuals who pose a real threat to the safety of others in prison. Savings from housing people for low-level crimes would mean savings for the state in millions, which will be redirected to beneficial programs for schools, victims and treatment.
Most importantly, this measure will ensure that low-level offenders will no longer have to face the toxic consequences of having a felony on their record, which takes away their ability to obtain employment, housing, and other assistance programs.
The election season is upon us, and as always it has brought along with it the usual negative attack ads, endless news coverage, analysts, debates, etc. However the most important thing the election season has brought for the Muslim community is an opportunity to make a real impact.
In the coming days CAIR-CA will announce in detail the advocacy and community organizing we, in conjunction with our partners, are doing on this important measure.
For more information you can call 714.776.1847 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CAIR-LA Public Affairs Coordinator