For Immediate Release
Prop. 5 Falls to Prison Guards’ Millions
Prison System Now Faces Federal Court Takeover
WASHINGTON - Proposition 5, the Nonviolent Offender Rehabilitation Act, failed to capture a majority of votes on Election Day, bringing to an end the most ambitious prison and sentencing reform in US history. Prop. 5 proponents blamed California's prison guards for funding deceptive advertising and said the No on 5 campaign misled voters about the measure.
Margaret Dooley-Sammuli, deputy campaign manager for Yes on 5, said, "Today we saw special interests overpower the public interest. California's prison guards poured millions of dollars into stopping Prop. 5 and securing this victory for the poison politics of crime."
The prison guards union, formally the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA), contributed nearly $2 million to oppose Prop. 5 - nearly 75% of the advertising budget aimed at defeating the measure.
Dooley-Sammuli continued, "The prosecutors and prison guards who led the campaign against Prop. 5 got their way tonight - but they've really lost. The next step for our prisons will probably be a federal takeover. Prop. 5 was Californians' last, best chance to avoid a takeover and make our own choices about how to address prison overcrowding. Now federal judges are likely to impose solutions that no one will be happy about."
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT
If you think a better world is possible, support our people-powered media model today
The corporate media puts the interests of the 1% ahead of all of us. That's wrong. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.
If you believe the survival of independent media is vital to a healthy democracy, please step forward with a donation to nonprofit Common Dreams today:
Opponents never acknowledged the cost savings projected for Prop. 5 by the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst - $1 billion per year in prison operations costs, and $2.5 billion in capital savings in reduced prison construction, the Yes on 5 campaign said.
Dooley-Sammuli said, "Our opponents hid the true cost of defeating Prop. 5 - billions of dollars in prison construction and operating costs. In the next few years, as our prison budget grows from $10 billion per year to $15 billion or more, we will all look back at Prop. 5 and wonder why we did not put a cap on prison costs when we had a chance."
Dooley-Sammuli added, "Although Prop. 5 lost today, this historic effort was not in vain. Prop. 5 presented a vision for a future in which we do more for young people with drug problems, and improve the way we provide court-supervised treatment in California. There is plenty to build on going forward."
Prop. 5 was endorsed the League of Women Voters of California, Children's Defense Fund - California, the California Nurses Association, California Federation of Teachers, the California Society of Addiction Medicine, the California State Conference of the NAACP and the National Council of La Raza, among many others.
This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.
Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news outlet. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Won't Exist.
Please select a donation method: