Reform L.A. Jails founded by activist, public speaker, and co-founder of Black Lives Matter Global Network, Patrisse Cullors, received their ballot designation and is now officially Yes on R. The Reform L.A. Jails initiative will be on the California presidential primary March 3, 2020 ballot as a response to the systemic corruption and structural oppression that has shaped the lives of black and brown residents, the homeless, and people who struggle with mental illness or disability in Los Angeles County.
L.A. County’s jail is the biggest in the country and has a history of over-incarcerating people with mental illness and providing substandard mental healthcare inside the jails. Thousands of people who struggle with homelessness, mental illness, or drug dependency are locked up in LA County every single day. Right now, there are over 5,500 Angelenos in L.A. County Jails simply because they suffer from mental health illness; 70% suffer from substance use disorder, 25% are chronically homeless and 40% cannot afford bail.
“Instead of locking people up, we should show care and compassion by ensuring them access to mental health care. That’s why it is so pertinent to vote Yes on R and we call on the community to do the same,” said Cullors.
If Yes on R is successful, the measure requires L.A. County to invest in rehabilitation and mental health treatment, grant the Civilian Oversight Commission (COC) with subpoena power to effectively and independently investigate misconduct. The COC will then be mandated to develop a plan to reduce jail populations and L.A. County will be mandated to redirect all cost savings from reduced incarceration to public priorities, such as drug treatment, housing, and mental health care.
Yes on R will end the cycle of corruption and misconduct that has plagued L.A. County for over a decade, invest in rehabilitation and mental health and save taxpayers tens of millions of dollars a year by ensuring people no longer sit in jail just because they can’t afford bail.
L.A. County now has the opportunity to fight for a justice system that works for all. For more information on the ballot and how you can vote, visit voteyesonr.org.
Los Angeles Voting Information:
February 3, 2020 – Vote by Mail
February 22, 2020 – Voting Centers Open
March 3, 2020 – Election Day
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