COVID-19 Rapid Response Work
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began we have changed the way we advocate and our legislative agenda was put on hold. Our two bills, one a resolution to address extreme sentencing in California (ACR 186) and the other, a bill to give equal time credits to people who were sentenced to a violent crime (AB 3160) were paused.
We have focused our efforts on decarcerating our prisons, shining a light on the conditions of the people inside our prisons and speaking truth to power. Through opinion articles, to publishing breaking news on social media, interviews and community gatherings online, we are continuing to push for the
Sponsor of Extreme Sentencing Resolution 186 (ACR 186)
Assembly Concurrent Resolution calls upon the need for statutory changes to end extreme sentencing in California and focusing more resources and polices for rehabilitation over punishment. Since California enacted the Uniform Sentencing Law in 1977 and adopted Life
Without Parole Sentencing the following year, the state’s prison population has increased by almost 900%. In addition, there are currently more people serving life sentences than the entire prison population of the early 1970’s. Only 2.9% of people serving life sentences have been released, and only .3% of people serving Third Strike sentences have been released. The African-American community represents less than 15% of the national population and is
disproportionately subjected to extreme sentences as it comprises almost half of the people serving life sentences and over half of people serving life sentences without the possibility of parole. In addition, California has, more than any other state, the biggest gap between education and prison spending, paying just $11,495 per student as opposed to over $80,000 per person incarcerated.
Co-Sponsor of Assembly Bill 3160: Prison Credits
In 2016, California voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 57, which required the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to expand opportunities for incarcerated people to reduce their sentence by earning credits for good behavior, participation in
self-help groups, and completion of educational and rehabilitative programs. However, inequalities in credit-earning rates and inconsistent access to rehabilitative programming have limited the reach of Proposition 57. AB 3160 seeks to expand upon the success of Proposition 57 by decreasing program disruptions and by providing equal credit-earning opportunities and incentives to those who are unable to participate in Fire Camp, including disabled and older people.