Catholic dioceses in California are offering special prayers and Masses in observation of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, an annual event established in 1981 to draw attention to the people and families whose lives have been affected by violent crime. Please attribute this statement to the Most Rev. Richard Garcia, bishop of Monterey, the Most Rev. Armando Ochoa, bishop of Fresno, and the Most Reverend David O’Connell, auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles, members of the Restorative Justice Committee of the California Catholic Conference:
In 2014 California voters strongly passed Proposition 47. Its goal is to reduce the huge number of people incarcerated in California for relatively small crimes, a number that had been growing far faster than population growth.
Prop. 47 authorizes the release of persons convicted and jailed for two types of crime: petty property crimes where the value of the goods was below $950 (typically theft, forgery, etc.), and personal use of illegal drugs. Violent crimes are excluded.
After having its death penalty protocols repeatedly ruled unconstitutional, California will once again attempt to rewrite the process to comply with court rulings. The California Catholic Conference will be among many speaking out against the use of the death penalty and the protocols at a hearing next Friday.
Solitary confinement is an extremely harmful practice, widely condemned as torture, but extensively used in California’s juvenile justice systems. Its overuse – just as in adult correctional situations – can do more harm than good.
During National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 19-25, 2015, survivors of crime and victims’ families gathered in Sacramento. Meetings and conferences were held throughout this week to honor and support crime victims and survivors, to discuss various victim-related topics and needs, and to promote a justice system that more effectively addresses the needs of survivors and prevents crime.
The 2015 National Crime Victim’s Rights Week is April 19-25. To bring awareness to this issue, people from across the state will gather in Sacramento from April 19-20 for the Survivors Speak Conference. The Survivors Speak Conference will bring together Californians who have survived crime or been impacted by crime in their communities. The Restorative Justice ministers are participating in the conference.
Resources for Parishes:
SACRAMENTO – The Most Rev. Richard Garcia, bishop of Monterey and the Most Rev.
The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act
On Tuesday, November 4, 2014, California voters will be faced with several key ballot initiatives. Many of these, including Proposition 47, the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act, will have wide reaching impact both fiscally as well as socially. California Bishops do not take positions on many issues but the social impact of Prop 47 compelled the Bishops to take a stand in favor of this particular ballot initiative.
On behalf of all 12 California dioceses, the California Catholic Conference of Bishops today announced their endorsement of “The California Safe Neighborhoods Act,” which will appear as Proposition 47 on the November General Election Ballot.
One year after an unprecedented inmate hunger strike to protest inhumane use of solitary confinement, faith-based leaders met this week with California prison officials to urge faster action.