Governor Brown Signs Historic Package of Criminal Justice Reform Legislation

Dear Supporters,

We are thrilled to inform you that Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law a series of bills that will significantly improve public safety and bring hope to thousands of incarcerated men, women and their loved ones across California. ARC Founder and President Scott Budnick recognized the significance of these bills, saying, “[t]hese smart-on-crime bills, many [of which] passed with a bipartisan vote, embrace the concepts of public safety, accountability and redemption.”

ARC co-sponsored four of these measures (SB 190, SB 312, SB 394 and SB 395), and worked hard alongside extraordinary advocates throughout the state to educate legislators about the importance of these specific justice reforms and other critical pieces of legislation. In the process of walking the halls of the State Capitol to advocate for these measures, ARC members demonstrated what is possible when you provide hope and invest in human life. We believe that these living examples of rehabilitation and redemption had a huge positive impact on legislators and Governor Brown.

SB 190 will end the harmful, unlawful, and costly assessment and collection of administrative fees against families with youth in the juvenile system. SB 312 would restore a youth’s ability to seal a juvenile court record, and therefore increase their chances of finding and maintaining stable employment and other critical opportunities. SB 394 would give individuals serving life without parole for crimes they committed as young people under 18 years-old the opportunity to have a parole hearing after 25 years of incarceration. SB 395 would safeguard young people’s rights under the United States and California Constitutions by requiring that youth under 15 consult with counsel prior to waiving their Miranda rights.

These bills build upon our previous advocacy work in providing second chances to young people in the system, and now serve as a foundation for extending the conversation of hope and redemption to those who were young adults when they entered the system. “California’s children and youth deserve the hope and opportunities these new laws will give them,” says Human Rights Watch Children’s Rights Division Senior Advocate Elizabeth Calvin.

This is an exciting time for justice reform work in California.  We are enthusiastic about the ways in which opportunities for redemption are being spread throughout California’s prison system.  The enactment of these bills also places California at the forefront of this reform work nationwide.  “Our futures are all bound, and California’s leadership on this issue can benefit the state while helping guide the country,” commented Bryan Stevenson, Equal Justice Initiative Founder and Executive Director.

While helping to fight for the dignity of incarcerated individuals, we are continuously inspired by the strength of your support.  Whether through volunteering your time, providing your expertise, or serving as mentors to our members, you let us know each day that you are deeply committed to helping to heal families throughout the state.

We look forward to your continued support in 2018 and beyond as we work to heal our communities in California and around the county.

Click here to view, Governor Brown’s press release describing the criminal justice bills he signed into law yesterday!

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