Petition statement to be delivered to The California State House, The California State Senate, and Governor Jerry Brown

Spend $400 million for more prisons? No way, Gov. Brown.

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Spend $400 million for more prisons? No way, Gov. Brown.

To be delivered to The California State House, The California State Senate, and Governor Jerry Brown

Petition Statement

I urge you to oppose any plan to expand California's prison capacity. There are better ways to reduce the prison population that won't cost an estimated $400-$800 million, such as reforming sentences for nonviolent drug convictions, expanding good time credits, and granting compassionate and geriatric release. There are much better uses for our funds, such as reversing the drastic cuts in childcare and services to the elderly and protecting the future of the social safety net.
There are currently 1,533 signatures. NEW goal - We need 2,000 signatures!

Petition Background

After years of financial crisis, our state’s budget is finally in better shape. But now Gov. Brown wants at least $400 million (it could come to as much as $800 million) in new spending to expand prisons. California is under a federal court order to reduce the prison population from dangerously overcrowded to just overcrowded, a total reduction of 9,600 prisoners. There are good solutions on the table, like releasing elderly and sick prisoners who pose no threat and earlier release for prisoners who have earned time off their sentences for good behavior. There are some good longer term solutions too, like charging simple drug possession as a misdemeanor rather than a felony (Senate Bill 649 – now before the Assembly) and more drug treatment, community mental health and rehabilitation services.
And the $400 million is just for this year. Once we expand prison capacity, we’ll be creating obligations to spend even more down the road.
If the Legislature allows Gov. Brown to raid state funds there will be even less in the future to restore or even maintain education, childcare services and services to the elderly and disabled.
Contracts for private prisons – is this really the way we want to invest in our state?
Tell Governor Brown and your legislators – we oppose raiding California’s General Fund to pump more money - $400 to $800 million! -into the prison sinkhole.

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