Action Alert: Tell Your Senator to Vote YES for SB 180 - THE RISE ACT
Sen. Hueso (Imperial, San Diego) 916.651.4040
Sen. Newman (Anaheim, Fullerton) 916.651.4029
Sen. Portantino (Glendale, Pasadena) 916.651.4025
Sen. Roth (Riverside, Norco, Moreno Valley) 916.651.4031
Sen. Stern (Ventura, Thousand Oaks) 510.651.4027
What will the RISE Act do?
The RISE Act would repeal three-year sentence enhancements for people with prior drug convictions. Currently, these enhancements are applied consecutively, which means that a person sentenced for a nonviolent drug crime will have three years added to this sentence for every prior related drug offense, even if they have already served their time for that offense. This extreme punishment has not only failed to protect communities or reduce the availability of drugs, but has resulted in overcrowded jails and prisons, harsh sentences, and crippled state and local budgets. By repealing this expensive and ineffective punishment, funds will be freed to reinvest in much needed community-based programs that can restore opportunities for formerly incarcerated individuals and strengthen families.
Why is the RISE Act important?
- Sentence enhancements have been a proven failure. Rather than reduce drug access, the effect of these enhancements has been sentencing thousands of people – predominantly people of color – to long periods of incarceration in overcrowded prisons.
- We need to DIVEST from incarceration and INVEST in our communities. Since 2007, California has spent over $2.2 billion on county jail expansions – not including county-level costs for construction, staffing, and debt service for high-interest loans. The RISE Act would reduce jail populations, freeing up crucial funds to invest in programs and services that meet community needs and improve public safety, such as community-based mental health and substance use treatment, job programs, and affordable housing.
- Sentence enhancement destabilize communities. Formerly incarcerated individuals often have trouble finding jobs and housing, and their family members face large debts from court costs and visitation and telephone fees. This has a destabilizing effect on families and communities.
- The RISE Act will reduce racial disparities in the criminal justice system. Although rates of drug use and sales are comparable across racial lines, people of color are far more likely to be stopped, searched, arrested, prosecuted, convicted, and incarcerated for drug law violations. They are thus disproportionately impacted by sentence enhancements.
- Some of our most important partners are supporting this act, including: Californians United for a Responsible Budget (co-sponsor), the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights (co-sponsor), All of Us or None (supporter), Causa Justa: Just Cause (supporter), and the Transgender Gender Variant Intersex Justice Project (supporter), amongst others.