End failed drug war sentencing policies. Stand up for justice.
The RISE Act is one of the most consequential pieces of criminal justice reform legislation this year -- but unless it gets more public support this week, it will fail in the California State Senate!
The RISE Act would repeal a failed drug war policy that gives drug defendants three extra years in jail for each previous drug sale conviction. It's excessive, it's unnecessary, and it's just plain ineffective.
It's also expensive. Policies like this have led to severe overcrowding in California’s jails, costing the state and counties $2.5 billion dollars each year. We’re throwing away money that could be spent on affordable housing, job training, or rehabilitation services -- priorities that keep California communities safe and healthy, and that keep people who've committed crimes from reoffending. Let's invest in people, not prisons!
This is an all hands on deck moment. Last year, corporate Democrats -- kowtowing to groups that represent police, district attorneys, and other law enforcement interests -- partnered with reactionary Republicans to help kill the RISE Act in committee. We can’t let the RISE Act fail this year -- will you sign our emergency petition to your state senators asking them to support the bill?
To: the California State Legislature and Governor Jerry Brown:
"I urge your support for Senate Bill 180, the RISE (Repeal Ineffective Sentencing Enhancements) Act. It's time to repeal the consecutive three-year sentence enhancements that are now added on to a base sentence for a drug offense if the person has a previous conviction. More than 1,700 Californians, mostly young people of color, are serving long sentences of five years, 10 years, or more in overcrowded county jails, costing taxpayers billions that could be better spent on community-based mental health, substance abuse treatment programs, and other priorities.
"The people of California overwhelmingly passed Proposition 57 to allow people serving time in prison for nonviolent convictions to be eligible for parole after they have completed their “base” sentence, prior to serving sentence enhancements. The proposition, however, only applies to people sentenced to state prison. It only makes sense to end the expensive and ineffective sentence enhancements that apply to people serving time in California’s jails. Let's spend our dollars wisely for policies that actually reduce drug use and improve public safety."