"Prop 47 Continues To Protect Family"

At Sacred Heart Community Services on Jan. 9th about 45 people gathered to discuss Gov. Brown’s proposed 2014-15 State Budget to support statewide efforts by California Partnership, a coalition of community-based groups organizing and advocating for policies and programs that reduce and end poverty. DeBug's own, Charisse Domingo shared this speech about the impact of passing Prop 47.

Everyday we work and organize with families and their communities who have loved ones facing charges in the criminal justice system.

We have seen firsthand the personal effects of when the State of California prioritizes policies and spending on incarceration rather than communities.  The most common phrase we hear from families who have loved ones in the system is that “We are doing time with them.”  Since 1980, California has built 22 state prisons and 1 university. In 2014, California spent over $62,000 to incarcerate 1 individual – almost 7 times the $9,200 it spent for each K-12 student.

They say it’s to protect public safety – but we say it’s the opposite. To protect public safety means investing in families, in our communities, in much needed resources like schools, after school programs, social services, employment opportunities, treatment programs.   California voters know this – that’s why we passed Proposition 47 last year which lowered felonies to misdemeanors and will open and reopen many doors for California residents to jobs, housing, and schools. And why California passed Proposition 36 the year before that, allowing resentencing for non-violent 3rd strikers to come home.  

 We were in a courtroom when Lisa Coulter, the first Santa Clara County woman who had served 18 years of a life sentence for stealing from a JC Penney’s was allowed to come home.  And now she is working, was reunited with her daughter who she hadn’t seen in 18 years, and was present for the birth of her 4th grandchild.

About Charisse Domingo


Charisse Domingo is a photojournalist with Silicon Valley De-Bug, and co-founder of the Albert Cobarrubias Justice Project. Domingo is also the co-founder of the Darkroom at Debug, a community for film photographers.

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I think there is no more important work than that of the Albert Cobarrubias Justice Project. Yes, let's invest in our communities, not an unjust prison system. Many much thanks and praises for this work and for Prop. 47 and Prop. 36 passing. Let's hope this signals the beginning of the dismantling of California's prison industrial complex.

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