The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act of 2014 is a voter initiative for the November 2014 California ballot that will change sentencing for low-level nonviolent crimes such as simple drug possession and petty theft from felonies to misdemeanors and direct financial savings to K-12 schools, mental health treatment, and victim services. This reform maintains the current law for registered sex offenders and anyone with prior convictions for rape, murder or child molestation.
The proponents of our reform proposal are retired San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón. In addition to law enforcement leaders, crime victims, teachers, rehabilitation experts, business leaders and faith-based organizations support the reform.
Stops wasting prison space on low-level nonviolent crimes: Changes the lowest level nonviolent drug possession and petty theft crimes from felonies to simple misdemeanors. It authorizes resentencing for anyone who is incarcerated for these offenses and poses no threat to public safety. These changes apply to juveniles as well as adults.
Keeps rapists, murderers and child molesters in prison: Maintains the current law for registered sex offenders and anyone with prior convictions for rape, murder or child molestation.
Stops government waste and redirects hundreds of millions from prison spending to K-12 and treatment: California counties will save hundreds of millions annually and state prison reductions will generate between $750 million to $1.25 billion in savings over the next five years alone. Those savings will be shifted into K-12 school programs (25%), victim services (10%) and mental health and drug treatment (65%).
Protects public safety: Focuses law enforcement resources on violent and serious crimes, and directs savings to programs that stop the cycle of crime. Prisoners may only be released if they demonstrate that they are no longer a threat to public safety.
Reduces the collateral consequences of felony convictions for low-level crime: Reduces the barriers that many with felony convictions for low-level nonviolent crimes face to becoming stable and productive citizens, such as employment, housing and access to assistance programs and professional trades.
For more information about the SNSA, please contact Californians for Safe Neighborhoods and Schools.