Overdose Prevention Bill Stalled in California Assembly

Recently, California’s Assembly Appropriations committee chairman Mike Gatto chose to hold Assemblymember Richard Bloom’s overdose prevention funding bill, AB 831, in committee, effectively killing it for this year. Procedurally the bill remains in committee and could be moved forward in a year. AB 831 sought a modest appropriation of $500,000 to fund a grants program for new and existing overdose prevention programs throughout the state. Accidental drug overdose is the leading cause of … [Read more...]

Crunch Time in Sacramento: Your Voice Needed!

Many Justice Not Jails priority issues are addressed in key pieces of legislation now under consideration. Bills need to clear at least one house of the legislature by the end of May in order be considered during this term.  If a bill has moved from committee to the floor of one of the chambers or has moved to the "second house" for final action, you should contact your representative to urge his or her support. If a bill is on what's called "suspense" (because it affects the state budget), you … [Read more...]

California Supreme Court Upholds Local Medical Marijuana Bans

Last week, the California Supreme Court held that localities may entirely ban medical marijuana dispensaries from operating within their jurisdictions in a closely watched case, City of Riverside vs. Inland Empire Patients Health and Wellness Center.   The result of the Court’s ruling is that tens of thousands of legitimate medical marijuana patients in California will be without safe and legal access to medical marijuana.  To date more than 200 localities have banned dispensaries … [Read more...]

Community Demands Increased Funding for Prison Realignment Support

South LA Reintegration Council Calls for Increased Funding for Community-Based Prison Realignment Support Services The past 40 years has witnessed the prison population in California exploding due in part to the so-called "War on Drugs." Communities of color are targeted, resulting in harsher sentences even as crime rates have been decreasing for the past 10 years. The California prison system is under federal decree because of poor health care services to inmates and overcrowding. California … [Read more...]

Nationwide Efforts to “Ban the Box”

Maryland Becomes Latest State to “Ban the Box” 50 municipalities and 9 states have removed questions about criminal record from job applications, opting to ask later in interview process Campaigns underway in 6 states; Minnesota poised to expand its current law to cover private sector hiring Maryland on Thursday became the ninth state to “ban the box,” removing questions about criminal history from state job applications and postponing such questions until later in the hiring process. It is … [Read more...]

Crime Legislation: Focus on Facts, Not Fear

California already had what were arguably the nation's toughest sex offender laws in 2006 when voters, spurred on nightly by fear-mongering television hosts such as Nancy Grace and Bill O'Reilly, adopted this state's version of Jessica's Law. Proposition 83 required all convicted sex felons, whether violent or not, whether still on parole or not, and whether at high or low risk of reoffending, to wear electronic monitoring devices for the rest of their lives. Drafters ignored the fact that there … [Read more...]

Parent Activists and Overdose Prevention Groups Cheer Groundbreaking State Legislation

California Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) introduced an overdose prevention bill that many are hailing as the first of its kind in the state. The bill, AB 831, asks the legislature to take action to address California’s growing accidental drug overdose problem by establishing a funding source for overdose prevention programs, as well as convene a state task force of overdose prevention experts and other public health officials to study the issue and create a series of comprehensive … [Read more...]

Our Priorities in Sacramento

Justice Not Jails participates in the broader criminal justice reform coalition that fights for the changes we need in Sacramento. There are currently a couple dozen criminal justice-related bills in the legislative hopper, some of which are regressive and need to be defeated. The good ones we identify here all align with JNJ's priorities on juvenile justice, drug policy, and re-entry support. Assembly Bills AB 218 (Dickinson) - removes the "box" that ex-offenders currently need to check on … [Read more...]

Graduate Them, Don’t Incarcerate Them!

Graduate Them, Don't Incarcerate Them! The Movement to Keep Young People in School The problem isn't a secret: California schools suspend more students than they graduate, tracking them to jail instead of to success. But Ramiro Rubalcaba was surprised when he found himself being part of the solution. Rubalcaba told his story at a forum on school discipline held in Los Angeles on September 10, sponsored by the California Endowment, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom … [Read more...]