Foundation CEO Statement on Passage of Prop 47

by Anonymous (not verified) on November 12, 2014

California made history by passing Proposition 47: The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act last week.  Our state has been a progressive leader in criminal justice legislation and this proposition has the potential for such far reaching and positive ramifications concerning our young men and women of color that the CEO's of foundations across California have made a joint statement below:

Making Investment a Criminal Justice Strategy

Last Tuesday night, our state made an important statement: the best way to deal with crime is by preventing it. And the best way to do that is to invest in our young men and women so that they remain on the right track and on the path to healthy and prosperous futures.

With the passage of Proposition 47, the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act, Californians has made a decision to improve community safety and position California as a leader in rightsizing our criminal and juvenile justice systems.

Beginning on November 5th, Prop 47 allows our communities to both hold our young men and women accountable while providing them with additional support from schools and community-based programs instead of being sent to prison. Prop 47 now gives us the ability to address the “school to prison pipeline” and some of the root problems which drive so many young men and women, especially young men and women of color, into the criminal and juvenile justice systems.

Perhaps most importantly, though, Prop 47 allows us to acknowledge that a lack of healthy environments and uneducated and unhealthy people are the largest drivers of crime and violence. Enabling criminal and juvenile justice systems to better meet their public safety and rehabilitative goals by ensuring that some of their most vulnerable youth achieve the behavioral, physical, mental health, and education outcomes associated with healthy transitions to adulthood is a promising solution that we wholeheartedly support.

According to an analysis of Proposition 47, there can be an annual savings of between $400-700 million at the county level. These savings will be shifted into K-12 school programs (25%), victim services (10%) and mental health and drug treatment (65%). As it is implemented, communities will need to make important decisions about their local governments’ spending priorities. Last Tuesday a majority of Californians said they want our state’s criminal and juvenile justice strategy to progress. With such a strong endorsement, we encourage California’s counties to invest in bold, fresh ideas, and proven approaches that both to reduce crime and violence, and promote education, health and wellness.

Philanthropy has a continuing responsibility to help our state create opportunities for all Californians to fully participate in the state’s economy and civic life. We believe that criminal and juvenile justice reform is one of the core opportunities to achieve this. We look forward to continuing to work with community organizations and with our state and local governments to identify ways to support the effective implementation of this new law. Quinn Delaney Founder and President Akonadi Foundation

Antonia Hernandez President and CEO California Community Foundation

Sandra Hernandez President and CEO California Health Care Foundation

Judy Belk President and CEO The California Wellness Foundation

Janet Y. Spears Interim President and CEO East Bay Community Foundation Cedric Brown Managing Partner Kapor Center for Social Impact

Shane Murphy Goldsmith President and CEO Liberty Hill Foundation

Tim Silard President and CEO Rosenberg Foundation

Fred Blackwell President and CEO San Francisco Foundation

Chet P. Hewitt President and CEO Sierra Health Foundation

Robert K. Ross President and CEO The California Endowment

For more on our coverage on the passing of Prop. 47 please read our blog, "Prop. 47:  What it Means, How It Passed."