[ExI] Proposition 47 has passed in California
pharos at gmail.com
Sat Nov 8 19:39:17 UTC 2014
This news hasn't got a mention on the BBC, but surely this is a big deal?
To me it looks like the beginning of the end for the War on Drugs that
has ruined a generation.
The initiative, which passed with 58.5 percent of the vote, changes
many crimes from felonies, which generally require prison terms, to
misdemeanours that usually carry penalties of probation, fines or very
short jail time. Most instances of drug possession and property crime
under $950 are no longer felonies. Current prisoners who were charged
with these crimes can now petition to have their sentences reduced.
A modest estimate is that Proposition 47 will reduce the California
prison population by 10,000 inmates although there will still be about
125,000 prisoners in the state's prison system after the reforms take
hold. It will save California taxpayers hundreds of millions or even
billions of dollars and use those savings to support education, mental
health and substance abuse counseling, and help for victims of crime.
Proposition 47 is one of the most far reaching pieces of criminal
justice reform anywhere in the nation. The initiative may be the
beginning of a national trend.
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