California has been reeling this summer – battered by public unrest over abuses in the criminal justice system and the nation’s highest number of COVID-19 infections.
Fortunately, California just passed legislation that will address both issues by fixing the worst parts of the state’s probation system.
Most Californians don’t think about probation very much or very often. But probation is a massive surveillance system that functions like a spider’s web of Catch 22s – often undermining people’s best efforts to turn their lives around. Because it is so byzantine and punitive, it needlessly traps tens of thousands of Californians in the corrections system for the pettiest of misdeeds or even honest mistakes.