By Kristen Johnson
California’s Proposition 57 proposes to increase the number of non-violent prisoners eligible for parole and to allow judges to decide whether or not to try juveniles as adults. Governor Jerry Brown put this measure on the ballot, because he realized that his previous tough-on-crime sentencing laws over-burdened prisons unnecessarily. In theory, the state would save money by reducing the prison population for those who can be rehabilitated and juveniles would be less likely to receive racial bias. (SD Union Tribune).
Previously passed propositions (36 and 47) have already been shown to reduce the prison population in California. And, the crime rate is not going up in spite of that reduction. (Brennan Center for Justice).
Working on rehabilitation is a much worthier use of taxpayer dollars than locking people up for non-violent offenses. It seems obvious that working with individuals on education, job training, drug rehabilitation, and mental therapy is a better use of time and money than restricting people to cells. It’s a complete waste of time and resources.
A “yes” vote is a vote for compassion, love, and hope. A “no” vote is a vote for fear and injustice.
Psalm 33:5 (NRSV): He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.
Serve all with love.
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