California Public Safety
We know over-policing and over-incarceration doesn’t work, which is why Californians overwhelmingly support, voted for, and demand data-informed public safety solutions and criminal justice reform.
The research is clear – over policing and incarcerating more people doesn’t lower crime. What prevents crime and keeps our communities safe is education, health, economic equality, and prevention.
Solutions that Keep People Safe & Keep Communities Whole:
|Increase reentry infrastructure: Employment is associated with far lower rates of reoffending, and higher wages are associated with lower rates of criminal activity. Health care, housing, and transportation services are also key to reducing recidivism. And yet according to the Urban Institute, very few people leaving prison receive assistance obtaining these things, including in California.|
|Support survivors: Right now, we mainly provide crime survivors with one option to heal: prosecution. This is not actually a very good one. We should fund trauma care, including at emergency rooms, health services, and financial support for all people who experience harm, even when the prosecution cannot prove a case in criminal court.|
|Help those struggling with substance use disorders: Invest in harm reduction techniques, like safe injection sites and readily available narcan. Dramatically scale drug treatment facilities statewide, and end barriers to employment and housing for those who have drug convictions.|
|Help those struggling with substance use disorders: Invest in harm reduction techniques, like safe injection sites. Dramatically scale drug treatment facilities statewide, and end barriers to employment and housing for those who have drug convictions.|
|Dramatically increase mental health treatment: We should invest in crisis response teams that send social workers to assist those experiencing a mental health crisis. We must also dramatically increase the number of free treatment beds that are available.|
|Invest in known violence prevention programs: We should heavily invest in data-proven violence interrupters, who are credible messengers that can prevent retaliatory violence.|
|Expand Trauma Recovery Centers: The UCSF Trauma Recovery Center provides free support for victims who need mental health treatment and other services, at zero cost to the victim. These programs are critical because victimization– and especially being victim of a gunshot wound– dramatically increases the risk of becoming an offender in the future.|
|Shift resources and mandate that law enforcement focus on serious crime: In 2020, police cleared just 59% of homicides, and only 45% of non-fatal violent crimes. The L.A. Sheriff’s Department cleared just 28.13% of homicides, and the Kern County Sheriff’s Department cleared just under 19%. Police are focusing on the wrong things.|
All Californians should work together to make our communities safe. The best way to achieve safe communities for all Californians is investing in community resources!
Voting is how communities come together in solidarity and make – and protect – change.
- Protect: Our dollars. Our voice. Our vote. Our communities.
- Vote and hold police accountable.
- Vote to invest in our communities.
Turn in your ballot on (or before) June 7
California’s Primary Elections will happen on June 7, 2022, and public safety is on the ballot! Many races, including critical District Attorney races, will be decided on June 7. Here’s what you can do before ballots are sent out on May 9th: Register to vote or check your voter registration status, and visit Courage’s voter guide to find out which races will be taking place in your district.
Criminal Justice Endorsement Slate:
- Alana Mathews for Sacramento District Attorney
- Sajid Khan for Santa Clara District Attorney
- Peter Hardin for Orange County District Attorney
- Judge Burke Strunsky for Riverside County District Attorney
- Diana Becton for Contra Costa District Attorney
- Attorney General Rob Bonta
- No on Prop. H (Support San Fransisco D.A. Boudin)
Public safety is a priority for communities around the state, and we know what keeps us safe: comprehensive investments in every person’s health, security, and a justice system that is fair and willing to hold everyone, including police and corporations, accountable for their actions. The most impacted communities have long demanded reforms to our economic and criminal justice systems and are leading on redefining justice to be more restorative and healing. Courage California’s Criminal Justice Reform slate of endorsements will help ensure that progress is made for the long-term health and safety of California’s communities and residents.
Community Safety Resources
Californians Know the Truth:
|Homicides are at an all time high||“A long-range look at crime statistics, particularly homicide data, shows that the 2020 crime rate nationally and in California was still a fraction of its highs in the early 1990s, according to government statistics.”|
|Theft is at an all time high||Certain crimes, such as theft, increased from 2020 to 2021, but what’s also true is that it is down in California, in general. The state is far from levels experienced in the 90s (during our failed “tough on crime” policies”). Also worth note: these types of offenses are up across the nation, which include states and counties with conservative (“tough on crime”) DAs. There is NO correlation between the two. But there is a correlation between economic equity and crime.|
|Hate crimes have spiked||Asian American communities have experienced hate on levels that hasn’t been seen in decades BUT we can’t ignore that this criminal activity was a byproduct of the GOPs (and president’s) racist rhetoric at the beginning of, and throughout, the pandemic. To combat this we need to build community, not further segregate folks through incarceration and divisive rhetoric.|
- Cop cash: California law enforcement gives big to campaigns – CalMatters
- The Wrong Prosecutors Are Being Recalled – Slate
- ‘Chesa Boudin Derangement Syndrome’ grips S.F. politics – San Francisco Examiner
- Is it fair to blame Gascón alone for L.A.’s violent crime surge? Here’s what the data show – LATimes