California Proposition 20: Rolling back reforms in criminal sentencing, parole and DNA collection

Election guide

Voting yes on Prop 20 means supporting a slate of tougher law enforcement rules:

  • more people who commit theft and drug crimes could face harsher penalties such as longer jail time
  • those who review inmate requests for early release would have to consider additional background on the applicant before making their decision
  • more misdemeanors would be added to the list of crimes that require the collection of DNA samples

Prop 20 would roll back changes within the past decade intended to reduce the inmate population in California.

Voting no on Prop 20 means keeping in place recently passed criminal justice reform.

Supporters: The California Correctional Peace Officers Association, the Association For Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, the Los Angeles Police Protective League and state Assemblymember Jim Cooper, a Democrat and a former captain with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, have helped raise more than $4.3 million to promote Prop 20. The California GOP has also endorsed the measure.

Critics: Former Gov. Jerry Brown, who pushed for some of the reforms Prop 20 would roll back, opposes the measure along with the California Democratic Party, the ACLU and other liberal advocacy groups. Philanthropists including the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative have helped raise more than $5.79 million in an effort to defeat the proposition.

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