The criminal justice system saw sweeping reforms across the United States on Election Day. Read on to learn how these big wins will make positive change for people impacted by the prison system.
Huge win in the fight against the War on Drugs!
Oregon made history, on Tuesday, by becoming the first state to decriminalize drug possession. This election year, five states legalized marijuana.
*This is significant as Montana arrests more Black people for marijuana, per capita, than any other US state. Arrests also target Brown and Native American residents.
**Medical use, only.
California passes key criminal justice propositions & elects allies
Prop 17 (restoring the right to vote to people on parole) passed with 2.1 million more people voting YES.
Prop 20 was successfully defeated – preserving multiple criminal justice reform measures from over the years.
Measure J in Los Angeles is close to passing – the measure would require that 10% of locally generated, unrestricted county money be spent on a variety of social services, including housing, mental health treatment and investments in communities disproportionately harmed by racism.
Elected George Gascon as District Attorney, who vows to fight mass incarceration. Gascon ran on a platform promising to reduce LA County’s prison population.
Elected progressive criminal justice reformer Holly Mitchell as District 2 Supervisor. For the first time in history, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will be comprised entirely of women.
Proposition E overturns a law that says the San Francisco Police Department must employ a minimum of 1,971 full-time police officers.
Trailblazing victories across the U.S.
Tarra Simmons becomes the first formerly incarcerated person elected to the State Legislature.
Nevadans approve a ballot initiative that removes the requirement that the Governor agrees with the majority of the Pardon Board — often an obstacle to badly needed clemency. Also, the parole board will meet more frequently.
Nebraska Amendment 1 passes with overwhelming support, banning slavery and involuntary servitude as criminal punishments.
Utah Amendment C passes with overwhelming support – the amendment bans slavery and involuntary servitude as criminal punishments.
José Garza is elected Austin District Attorney. Garza has vowed to fight mass incarceration and reduce the county’s prison population.
Monique Worrell is elected Orlando District Attorney. Worrell ran on a platform focused on the reduction of Orlando’s prison population.