By John Lam
Californians supporting rehabilitation and prison reform are being urged to register to vote in the November election and to support the Proposition 57 juvenile justice reform ballot measure.
That’s the message in a letter from Scott Budnick, founder of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition. He urges those affected by incarceration to get registered to vote on Nov. 8 for Proposition 57, also known as Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed criminal justice reform.
“As you know from your own experiences, mass incarceration has not just impacted those who sit in prison cells. You have also been impacted! Mothers, fathers… (significant others) are also affected…We’re here to let you know that you are not alone, and you are not powerless!” said Budnick.
As a rallying cry to remind its supporters of the significance and power of coming together under the banner of creating policy change, Budnick stated, “Due to your incredible work and the work of other community members, we gathered over 1 million signatures….which would give Californians the option to vote for the initiative (now known as Proposition 57) on the Nov. 8 ballot.”
Proposition 57 calls for:
1. Taking away the power of district attorneys to direct-file youth into the adult system and giving that power back to judges;
2. Allowing those with nonviolent crimes to be eligible for parole consideration before having to serve enhancements;
3. Allowing CDCR to set rehabilitation credits. In its regulations, CDCR could take credits down to 70 percent, 65 percent, 60 percent or better. ARC is pushing for 50 percent (day for day) good-time credits for everyone.
According to Budnick, “We are in the last and most important stage of the campaign in order to pass Proposition 57… It is extremely important that you do the following:
1. Register to vote;
2. Stay connected to ARC to find out updates on the Proposition 57 campaign;
3. Vote on Nov. 8.”
Budnick encourages people to register to vote online at www.arc-ca.org/prop-57. The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 24. Those who register by mail must make sure the postmark is on or before that date.
“You may think that you have no voice or power to change this system. That is false! You have a strong voice, and your loved ones have voice and power through you! Speak up and speak out for your loved ones and yourself by registering to vote! Join with ARC, and vote in support of Proposition 57 on Nov. 8,” Budnick says.
For more information, go to www.arc-ca.org/prop-57 or contact Bikila Ochoa at BOchoa@antirecidivism.org or call (213) 955-5885.