For some time, California has set the tone for how this country responds to crime. In the 1990s and 2000s, the state led the way ramping up mass incarceration with harsh three strikes and truth-in-sentencing laws and as prosecutors pushed sentences to the max. Unfortunately, states across the country emulated our draconian tactics.
Now, California is again leading, but this time in a way we can be proud of. We are setting the tone for a smarter and more equitable criminal justice system. We are making these strides not only because of a series of course-correcting ballot initiatives overwhelmingly supported by voters, but also because of bold legislation passed in Sacramento, especially this session. The bills sent to the governor will lead to fewer senseless arrests and fewer people unnecessarily sitting in prison and jail, while freeing up resources to invest in building up communities, rather than breaking them down.