Today, we’re announcing our support for ballot measures in two states — Proposition 57 in California and State Questions 780 and 781 in Oklahoma — that we believe will achieve important criminal justice reforms. We’re supporting these ballot measures while remaining steadfast in our commitment to achieving commonsense immigration reform.
Criminal justice reform is a complicated topic. There’s a lot we’re still learning, but this we know: There are aspects of America’s criminal justice system that are broken, including some that have particularly negative impacts on the poor and communities of color, and fixing them is going to take a lot of hard work.
Over the last few years, we’ve worked with diverse, bipartisan coalitions in our continuing fight for commonsense immigration reform; we’re encouraged to see a similar coalition growing to support criminal justice reform.
We believe it’s important to look for bipartisan opportunities to find practical solutions to big problems. We’re excited that this is happening in states as different as California and Oklahoma. In both places, broad bipartisan coalitions — conservatives and progressives, law enforcement professionals and formerly incarcerated people and their families, elected officials and crime survivors, business groups and faith leaders — are coming together to improve their criminal justice systems.
The Oklahoma and California ballot measures are advancing balanced approaches to public safety that will reduce recidivism through rehabilitation strategies like treatment for substance abuse and mental health problems, education, and job training. State Questions 780 and 781 would reclassify certain minor offenses like drug possession as misdemeanors and reinvest the savings into community-based rehabilitation programs. And Prop 57 would give judges and parole boards more discretion to determine people’s sentences and create new incentives for some prisoners to prepare themselves for reentry.
At FWD.us, we believe that America is strongest when everyone has a chance to contribute to our communities and our country. That’s why we’re proud to support these efforts and to learn from those already doing this work, even as we continue our fight to fix our immigration system next Congress.
More information about Prop 57 and State Questions 780 and 781 is available at these websites: