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Moving Millions from the Prison Budget Into Community Programs

June 16, 2017

Californias for Safety and Justice announced that the CA Board of State and Community Corrections awarded $103 million dollars in grants for community diversion and treatment programs across California. That $103 million came straight from the California prisons budget—and it’s why voters passed the Proposition 47 ballot initiative in 2014. This is the largest reallocation of dollars from the California prisons budget to community programs in the state’s history.  

Proposition 47 changed low-level crimes from felonies to misdemeanors. It required the state to reallocate the prison costs saved as a result of this change to prevention and treatment. After decades of seeing prisons budget grow while vital community services struggled, Californians passed the measure to demand a new approach to safety and justice.  

The historic announcement this week shows what’s possible when we replace incarceration with a smarter and more balanced approach to safety.        
Among the awards are:

  • $6 million to San Diego for its SMART program for chronic offenders with acute drug addictions and complex social service needs
  • $6 million to San Joaquin County for its Homeward Bound initiative to reduce recidivism
  • $6 million to Alameda County to support individuals with mental illness and substance abuse issues 
  • $32 million to Los Angeles County, the state’s most populous county, for treatment, diversion, reentry support services.

This comprehensive report summarizes the last two years of Prop 47 implementation: Second Chances and Systems Change, How Proposition 47 is Changing California.