Proposed 2023 Budget Contains Tens of Millions to Expand Community Re-Entry Programs, Services to Support Healing for Victims and Community Violence Intervention Programs; Prop. 47 Continues to Save More Than $100 million Annually

SACRAMENTO – Californians for Safety and Justice, the state’s leading safety advocacy organization, commended the state’s 2023-2024 proposed budget for its ongoing commitment to public safety and healing by maintaining hundreds of millions of dollars of historic investments from last year’s budget in crime and harm prevention programs, re-entry support, and programs to help victims of crime heal.

The $297 billion budget invests over $320 million to support community safety and enhance services for victims of crime, including $23 million over three years to support existing trauma recovery centers, and to establish an innovative pilot program to operate satellite offices in hard-to-reach and/or rural areas; $14 million ongoing to expand victims benefits; $39.5 million ongoing to backfill the Restitution Fund; and $50 million in grants for community-based organizations to provide cash assistance for survivors of crime. 

Continuing the state’s commitment to creating a safer and more rehabilitative-focused justice system, Governor Newsom proposed investing over $50 million in 2023 towards improving post-release outcomes for justice-involved people and reducing recidivism. This includes $40 million to support community re-entry programs, which have consistently demonstrated success in facilitating people’s safe and stable transition back to the community following incarceration. The budget allocates over $10 million to continue the Returning Home Well Program, a COVID-era initiative that provides transitional housing to people who would otherwise be at risk of being unhoused at the time of their release. 

Proposition 47, passed in 2014, continues to save California more than $100’milloom annually in reduced prison utilization costs. The Department of Finance estimates net General Fund savings of $101 million in 2023-24, bringing the total savings since the law went into effect in 2015 to $709 million – money that is reallocated back to local communities to fund programs that address the root causes of crime.

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

“Gov. Newsom and our legislative leaders  continue to show their commitment to prioritizing comprehensive safety solutions that support reductions in crime and healing for victims. We have made significant strides in recent years transforming the justice system into one that prioritizes the needs of communities and prevents crime and harm from occurring in the first place— but the work is not done. As we continue to experience the destabilizing effects left behind from the pandemic, it is critical for us to address the root causes of crime and violence in order to support the long-term health and safety of all our communities. These public safety policies should stop cycles of crime and meet the needs of crime victims with immediate and targeted investments in community-based initiatives and programs that are best equipped to work with our most vulnerable populations. And a key piece of protecting the peace, stability and safety of our neighborhoods has to be investment in programs that help survivors of crime address our trauma and heal. We want real public safety in California — safety that prioritizes increased investments in public health resources, violence prevention, and rehabilitation to stop cycles of crime and begin cycles of healing.”