Los Angeles – The Los Angeles City Council voted Friday to approve Councilmember Curren Price’s resolution to support Proposition 47. The voter initiative would change low level, non-violent petty crimes, from felonies to misdemeanors, helping to save California hundreds of millions annually and curb levels of incarceration - especially among youth of color.“I am so glad to see our city leading again, supporting a common sense change that will help reduce our prison population and reinvest up to $250 million in savings into crime prevention and mental health programs that are sorely needed in our community,” said Councilman Curren Price.Proposition 47 would change six of the lowest level, non-violent crimes from felonies to misdemeanors including simple drug possession, petty theft under $950 and forgery under $950 – charges that disproportionately impact women, studies show. Reductions would not, however, apply to sex offenders or anyone with prior convictions for murder, rape or child molestation. According to California’s Independent Legislative Analyst’s Office, the state could save up to $250 million annually per year, in reduced prison costs.
A coalition of law enforcement leaders, crime victims, educators, faith leaders and business leaders have endorsed Proposition 47.
“Investing in crime prevention, drug treatment, and schools is a much more effective use of taxpayer dollars than mass incarceration of low-level, nonviolent offenses,” said David Rattray, Senior Vice-President of Education and Workforce Development for the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce. “Prop 47 makes sense for our state and our economy because it is taking a proactive approach to disrupting the school to prison pipeline.”"For decades, California has over-invested in costly and ineffective prison expansion and under-invested in local public safety needs,” said Lenore Anderson, Executive Director of Californians for Safety and Justice. “ To rebalance our criminal justice investments and strengthen smart approaches to public safety, Proposition 47 aims to focus law enforcement resources on violent and serious crime, stop wasting prison space on low-level nonviolent crimes, and expand investments into crime prevention and treatment at the local level."