FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 1, 2020

CONTACT: 

Will Matthews, Californians for Safety and Justice, (909) 261-1398; will@safeandjustice.org 

OAKLAND, Calif. – Californians for Safety and Justice on Thursday expressed appreciation to Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing into law and including in the state budget adopted by the Legislature earlier this year a host of new policies that move the state toward a more effective safety agenda. The policies reflect best practices that have support from Californians across the state. Together, the efforts will help to reform broken criminal justice system policies by reducing over-incarceration and prioritizing rehabilitation and reentry, while ensuring crime victims can access support to recovery.  

Among the bills that Newsom signed in recent days include:

  • A.B. 2992 (Weber) would extend unpaid employment leave protections to all survivors of violent crime and to all immediate family members of homicide victims. The bill would also expand acceptable forms of documentation to verify that a crime or abuse occurred so survivors of crime can qualify for victim compensation
  • S.B. 1190 (Durazo) would enable all victims of violent crime to break a lease and relocate if necessary within the first six months after a crime occurred.
  • A.B. 1950 (Kamlager) would put reasonable and evidence-based limits on probation terms in California, save hundreds of millions of dollars every year by reducing the number of people on probation who are sent back to prison for technical violations and reduce the caseloads of probation officers so they can more effectively do their jobs
  • A.B. 3234 (Ting) would create a court-initiated misdemeanor diversion program and lower the minimum age limitation for elderly parole to 50 for those who have served at least 20 years

Additionally, the 2020-2021 fiscal year budget that Newsom signed into law earlier this year included: 

  • A plan to close two state owned and operated prisons by 2023 – Newsom announced the planned closure of the Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy, Calif. last week
  • Significant reforms to the state’s parole system that will make it more focused on ensuring people on parole successfully reintegrate back into the community with a savings to the General Fund 
  • An investment in the state’s victim compensation fund that will ensure it remains solvent and able to continue operating at current levels.
  • Funds for automatic record relief enacted by AB 1076, co-sponsored by Californians for Safety and Justice last year
  • The removal of barriers to college opportunities for Californians living with past criminal convictions 

The following can be attributed to Jay Jordan, executive director of Californians for Safety and Justice:

“Gov. Newsom has taken significant steps toward ensuring that justice system reforms are enacted that align with the views of Californians from across the state and all walks of life. The gains that have been made in recent years prove that justice reforms can reduce over-incarceration and dangerous prison overcrowding, while making communities safer as crime rates remain at historically low levels. When we reduce the wasteful spending, investments can be directed to strengthening the safety and stability of local communities. There is still much work to be done, but Gov. Newsom’s commitment to increasing the safety, health and well-being of our communities sets us on the right path.”