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San Francisco Chronicle: Editorial: Don’t buy ‘tough on crime’ scare tactics, vote no on Prop. 20

In recent years, California has made some important steps away from mass incarceration, with its exorbitant cost, racial disparities, devastating effects on communities and little if any effect on public safety.

State voters and public officials have wisely shown an ability with a succession of progressive measures to see through the scare tactics that drove escalation of sentences and construction of new prisons.

This is no time to turn back the clock, as Proposition 20 would propose. . .

Various studies have shown. . . dramatic drops in incarceration have not contributed to a significant increase in crime, which continues to stabilize at 1960s levels.

It’s instructive that one of the big early funders of Proposition 20 was the prison guards, with boosts from other law enforcement unions. Voters who were fed up with the waste of money and waste of lives — and racial disparities — rejected that retrograde mindset with the passages of Props. 47 and 57.

Vote no on Prop. 20.


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Paid for by No on Prop. 20, Californians Against the Prison Spending Scam
Committee Major funding from

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
Patricia Quillin
Open Society Policy Center

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