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California Policy Forum Webinar: Prop 47 - Look Back. Look Forward.

Monday, December 14, 2015
11:00am - 12:00pm PST
This program is a webinar.
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Join this statewide webinar to explore what's happened since passage of Proposition 47, the role nonprofits and philanthropy can play in supporting effective implementation, and what’s on the horizon for criminal justice reform in California and across the country.

In November 2014, California voters passed Proposition 47, the most sweeping incarceration-reduction ballot initiative in state history. The “Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act” reclassified six common, low-level crimes from felony to misdemeanor punishments. By passing this landmark legislation, voters declared an end to long periods of incarceration for low-level crimes and championed investing the resulting savings to schools, victim services and treatment. Now significant numbers of young men and women, most of them of color, will no longer serve time in prison for these nonviolent offenses, and many hundreds of thousands of Californians with old criminal records will have the opportunity to remove the barriers they’ve faced to jobs, housing and more to improve life outcomes.

But the Proposition has not been without its critics. Some in law enforcement and in the media are linking an increase in property crimes to the measure and stating that police are no longer able to arrest people for petty crime, while supporters point out that there is no real data supporting that claim.

During this program, Ellen LaPointe (@ellenlapointe), President and CEO of Northern California Grantmakers (@NorCalGrant) will moderate a panel discussion with leaders on this critical issue:

  • Lenore Anderson (@LenoreAnderson), Executive Director, Californians for Safety and Justice @SafeandJust (Together with its sister 501(c)4 organization, Vote Safe, a project of The Advocacy Fund, CSJ played a major role in the development and passage of the measure.) 
  • Susan Burton (@SusanBurtonLA), Executive Director, A New Way of Life Re-Entry Project
  • Timothy Silard (@TimSilard), President, Rosenberg Foundation (@RosenbergFound)

We'll also get a Sacramento policy briefing from Nancy Berlin, Policy Director at CalNonprofits (@calnonprofits).

So where does implementation stand? What is the real impact of Prop. 47 on crime or are these just diversions? What will it take to reach the hundreds of thousands of Californians who can stand to benefit from the law’s promise? What’s the real expectation of savings and how do we insure that they are used correctly? We hope you can join us for this special webinar to learn more.

More on Proposition 47
Prop. 47 is retroactive, meaning anyone currently incarcerated can petition for release, and anyone in the state with a criminal record for these felony convictions can have the felony removed from their record. Since its passage, 13,000 people have been released and resentenced and an estimated 160,000 requests have been filed to have sentences reduced from felonies to misdemeanors. This year an estimated $156 million in savings could be realized and long term that amount could increase to $203 million in jail costs and $94.5 million in prison costs. In the next five years it could potentially shift $1 billion from state corrections to K-12 school programs and mental health and drug treatment according to the ACLU.

Speaker Biographies:

Lenore Anderson
Executive Director, Californians for Safety and Justice
Lenore Anderson heads Californians for Safety and Justice, a nonprofit project of the Tides Center that is working to replace prison and justice system waste with common sense solutions that create safe neighborhoods and save public dollars. She was also coauthor and campaign chair of Proposition 47. Anderson oversees the organization's strategic direction, partnerships, policy and advocacy work, including a network of 6,000 crime survivors across the state committed to criminal justice reform. As an attorney with extensive experience working to improve public safety, She is also a regular commentator in the media and at events about challenges within our prison and justice system -- and the smart justice policies and practices that can overcome those challenges. 

Before launching Californians for Safety and Justice, Anderson was Chief of Policy and Chief of the Alternative Programs Division at the San Francisco District Attorney's Office, where she spearheaded initiatives to reduce recidivism and improve public safety. She Chairs the Board of Directors for the Center for Youth Wellness, an initiative to reduce the health impacts of chronic stress and trauma on urban youth. She holds a J.D. from NYU School of Law and a B.A. from UC Berkeley, lives with her family in Oakland.

Susan Burton
Executive Director, A New Way of Life Re-Entry Project

Susan Burton leads A New Way of Life Re-Entry Project, which provides resources such as housing, case management, employment and pro bono legal services, and empowers through advocacy, leadership and community organizing on behalf of people who struggle to rebuild their lives after dwelling in the underworld of incarceration. A past Soros Justice Fellow, Women’s Policy Institute Fellow, and Community Fellow under The California Wellness Foundation’s Violence Prevention Initiative, she has served on the state’s Little Hoover Commission and the Gender Responsive Strategies Task Force. Burton is co-founder of All of Us or None and the Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted People’s Movement, both national grassroots civil rights movements comprised of formerly incarcerated individuals, their families and community allies. In collaboration with UCLA’s Critical Race Studies Program, she launched the Employment Rights Re-Entry Legal Clinic which has grown to be the largest of its kind in Southern California.

For her work, Burton was named a CNN Top Ten Hero in 2010 and was awarded the prestigious Citizen Activist Award from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. In recognition of her leadership, she was appointed by Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas as member of the Los Angeles County Sybil Brand Commission for Institutional Inspections. In this role she is authorized to inspect Los Angeles County correctional facilities and advocate for the health and well-being of people housed in the facilities. Burton was named the 2014 recipient of the James Irvine Leadership Award and in 2015 was named by the Los Angeles Times as one of eighteen New Civil Rights Leaders in the nation.

About the California Policy Forum
The California Policy Forum is a series of webinars presented in partnership with California Philanthropy (a collaboration of Northern California Grantmakers, San Diego Grantmakers, Southern California Grantmakers) and the California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits).

No cost to participate

Who May Participate:
Current SCG, NCG, SDG, and CalNonprofits members.

Register online through ReadyTalk.

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