Juvenile Crime. Initiative Statute.|
|Argument Against Proposition 21|
Arguments on this page are the opinions of the authors and have not been checked for accuracy by any official agency.
PROPOSITION 21 CARRIES A HUGE PRICE TAG--YOU WILL PAY FOR IT.
Proposition 21 creates a long list of new crimes and penalties for children and adults. Because of Proposition 21, California will need more jails and prisons. YOUR TAXES MAY HAVE TO BE RAISED TO PAY FOR PROPOSITION 21. California's Legislative Analyst reports that Proposition 21 will cost local governments "tens of millions of dollars" and state government "hundreds of millions" of dollars each year. The Department of Corrections estimates that Proposition 21 will require a capital outlay of nearly $1,000,000,000 (one billion dollars ) for prison expansion. We already have the nation's biggest prison system. Californians have other needs--like better schools, health care and transportation--that will be sacrificed so that you can pay the huge Proposition 21 price tag.
PROPOSITION 21 WILL PUT KIDS IN STATE PRISONS.
Proposition 21 will send a new wave of 16 and 17 year olds to state prison. In prison, without the treatment and education available in the juvenile system, they will be confined in institutions housing adult criminals. What will these young people learn in state prison--how to be better criminals? Our nation has a tragic record of sexual and physical assault on children who are jailed with adults.
CALIFORNIA ALREADY HAS TOUGH LAWS AGAINST GANGS AND YOUTH CRIME.
California law already allows children and gang members as young as 14 to be tried and sentenced as adults. California already has the nation's highest youth incarceration rate-- more than twice the national average! Police, prosecutors and judges have strong tools under current law to prosecute and punish gang members who commit violent crimes.
PROPOSITION 21 WILL HARM CURRENT EFFORTS TO PREVENT GANG AND SCHOOL VIOLENCE.
Proposition 21 does nothing to build safer schools or communities. It will not stop tragedies like the Colorado school shooting, and it will not keep kids from joining gangs. But, Proposition 21 will capture your tax dollars and take them away from current efforts to stop violence before it happens. Last year, the current Governor and the Legislature approved programs to prevent youth violence--like after-school programs that keep kids off the streets. Proposition 21 threatens the survival of these programs.
DON'T RISK HIGHER TAXES FOR A HIGH-PRICED ANTI-YOUTH PACKAGE WE DON'T NEED.
Proposition 21 was drafted over two years ago by former Governor Pete Wilson. It is an extreme measure that will result in more incarceration of children and minority youth. We don't need it. California's tough anti-crime laws are already working to reduce crime and violence. Since 1990, California's felony arrest rate for juveniles has dropped 30% and arrests of juveniles for homicide have plummeted 50%. Proposition 21 asks you to spend billions of future tax dollars for penalties and prisons that are extra baggage. DON'T THROW AWAY MONEY WE NEED FOR BETTER SCHOOLS, BETTER ROADS AND BETTER HEALTH CARE. DON'T RISK HIGHER TAXES FOR OUT-DATED REFORMS. VOTE NO ON PROPOSITION 21.LAVONNE McBROOM
President, California State PTA
President, League of Women Voters of California
President, Chief Probation Officers of California
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