In the News

August 15, 2014

SACRAMENTO, CA — Facing its final Assembly hearing, the California Fair Sentencing Act (SB 1010) authored by Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) won approval today.

Source: http://www.drugpolicy.org/news/2014/08/california-fair-sentencing-act-addresses-racial-disparities-crack-and-powder-cocaine-se

August 15, 2014

The sentence for selling crack cocaine in California is tougher than the sentence for selling powder cocaine – even though the drug is the same. On Thursday, the state Assembly approved a bill that would reduce the penalty for crack to the same length as powder.

Source: http://www.capradio.org/articles/2014/08/14/assembly-backs-bill-to-equalize-penalties-for-crack,-powder-cocaine/

August 14, 2014

People with criminal records often face a steep uphill battle when trying to find employment after incarceration — a challenge which can trap them in poverty as they struggle to rehabilitate their lives. Securing stable, living-wage jobs can be particularly difficult for this population, which is why civil rights advocates are promoting legislation that would eliminate a key employment barrier in the healthcare industry. Senate Bill 1384, which passed the state Senate in June and will soon face a vote at the Assembly, would change the law so that people hoping to become certified nursing assistants (CNAs) would no longer face automatic license denials due to past convictions. 

Source: http://www.eastbayexpress.com/SevenDays/archives/2014/08/14/california-health-department-opposes-bill-to-help-formerly-incarcerated-people-access-jobs

August 14, 2014

Lawmakers in the Assembly approved on Thursday a bill that would reduce the penalties for the sale of crack cocaine, closing a sentencing disparity that supporters say hurts communities of color.  

Source: http://www.latimes.com/local/political/la-me-pc-crack-cocaine-bill-20140814-story.html

August 14, 2014

In California, if you are convicted of possessing 14.25 grams of crack cocaine for sale, you are not eligible for probation. Yet if you get busted with the exact same amount of powder cocaine, you are.

Source: http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_26331338/drummond-time-fix-californias-whack-crack-laws

August 12, 2014

This week, California may get one step closer to eliminating the racist laws that unfairly target low-income communities of color for incarceration. On Thursday, the California State Assembly will vote on a bill that would eliminate groundless disparities in punishment for possession of crack cocaine and powder cocaine for sale.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/zachary-norris/sb-1010-fixing-california_b_5670206.html

August 11, 2014

California, like the rest of the nation, is slowly rousing itself after a generation-long binge of harsh and unthinking criminal sentences, especially for nonviolent crimes such as drug possession and sale. Our morning-after realizations include the degree to which we have over-incarcerated, sending too many people to prison with too little notion of how they were supposed to change while locked up, or how they were expected to make their way in the world when they got out.

Source: http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-cocaine-crack-and-powder-sentencing-disparit-20140811-story.html

August 08, 2014

A new, unprecedented bill passed by California's State Senate on Thursday will encourage public schools to teach students about the historical significance surrounding Barack Obama's status as the first African-American president of the United States of America.

Source: http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-California/2014/08/08/State-Senate-Passes-Bill-Requiring-Schools-to-Teach-About-President-Obama

August 06, 2014

Bill SB 1053 would require health plans to include all FDA-approved contraceptive methods and is currently awaiting action in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. Supporters of the bill, including Planned Parenthood Affiliates, say that the bill ensures that the Hobby Lobby ruling is denied entry in California.

Source: http://www.scpr.org/programs/airtalk/2014/08/06/38731/california-bill-mandates-inclusion-of-all-contrace/

July 18, 2014

State legislators are finally addressing one of the most racist drug laws on the books.

The act, Senate Bill 1010, aims to reverse a drug policy that for years incarcerated people of color for exponentially longer prison terms than white individuals for violating essentially the same law: possession of cocaine for sale.

Source: http://www.cvindependent.com/index.php/en-US/news/politics/item/1470-crack-law-is-wack-state-lawmakers-inch-closer-to-fixing-a-discriminatory-law