Skip to main content
Call for Smart Justice

Criminal Justice Reform Groups State Shared Concderns to Newly-Elected LA County Supervisors and Sheriff, Call for a Turn Toward "Smart Justice" in Wake of Prop 47 

In an effort spearheaded by the Los Angeles Regional Reentry Partnership (LARRP), some 25 area groups that work on criminal justice have sent a joint letter to new supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Hilda Solis and also to the new county sheriff, Jim McDonnell.

The letter was prompted by passage of Proposition 47 but also reiterates longstanding concerns of the groups in regard to local implementation of Public Safety Realignment, very slow progress in diverting people who should not be jailed, and chronic problems within the Sheriff’s Dept.

“Proposition 47’s enactment doesn’t mean that our advocacy work is finished,” said Peggy Edwards, executive director of the Reentry Partnership. “We need to ensure that this initiative is implemented in the spirit in which it was intended. The fact that 64% of the Los Angeles County voters approved this initiative should be a message to the Board of Supervisors and county departments that it’s time to turn the page toward smart justice in this county.”

Specific smart justice expectations detailed in the letter include:

Scrap the current jail construction plan in view of the likely impacts of Proposition 47 and aggressive diversion of persons who should not be jailed.

  • an early vote by the new Board of Supervisors to authorize the new sheriff to apply a risk assessment approach to effect the release of jailed persons on pre-trial status who are too poor to make bail (the previous Board of Supervisors declined former Sheriff Baca’s request for such authority);
Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

  • scrapping of the current jail construction plan in view of the likely impacts of Proposition 47 and aggressive diversion of persons who should not be jailed;
  • commitment to begin devoting at least 50% of the Public Safety Realignment funds Los Angeles County receives to rehabilitative and supportive services rather than to incarceration and law enforcement functions, which currently grab 80% of these monies;
  • Board of Supervisors action on meaningful civilian oversight of the Sheriff’s Department, including a commitment to seek whatever state-level legislative authorization is needed to empower an oversight body “with teeth.”

The text of the letter with the complete list of the organizations that signed it is attached here. Signers include the ACLU of Southern California, Homeboy Industries, Drug Policy Alliance, the Anti-Recidivism Coalition, A New Way of Life, Justice Not Jails, and Dignity & Power Now.

For more information:

  • Peggy Edwards – 661-253-2273/peggyedwards@lareentry.org
  • Rev. Peter Laarman – 626-644-3122/peterlaarman@justicenotjails.org
  • Lynne Lyman – 213-210-1023/llyman@drugpolicy.org