Rosenberg Foundation Awards More than $1 Million in Grants for Criminal Justice Reform, Implementation of Proposition 47

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 30, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO – The Rosenberg Foundation (www.rosenbergfound.org) has awarded more than $1 million in grants for criminal justice reform in California and the implementation of Proposition 47 (the Safe Neighborhood and Schools Act).

“The time is now to transform our criminal justice system and make it work for communities across California,” said Tim Silard, president of the Rosenberg Foundation. “With Proposition 47, Californians overwhelming voted to roll back war on drugs sentencing, tearing down long-standing systemic barriers to opportunity and human rights that disproportionately impact communities of color and low income communities. At the Rosenberg Foundation, we are seizing the moment by increasing our support for the courageous work of advocates and organizations fighting to ensure a safer, stronger, more prosperous, and more just California for all of us.”

 Californians for Safety and Justice (www.safeandjust.org) received $800,000 over two years to support its multi-pronged statewide criminal justice reform efforts and to ensure the effective statewide implementation of Proposition 47. The National Council of La Raza (www.nclr.org) was awarded $100,000 to advance sentencing reform in California, including helping to ensure effective implementation of Proposition 47, and elevating the public leadership of the NCLR Affiliate Network in statewide criminal justice advocacy efforts. The Community Coalition for Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (www.cocosouthla.org) received $75,000 for criminal justice solutions that strengthen communities and improve public safety with a focus on Los Angeles County, which is estimated to account for 25 percent of the convictions affected by Proposition 47.  In addition, the Foundation awarded $60,000 to the National Employment Law Project (www.nelp.org) to expand employment opportunities for Californians with criminal records.

In response to recent events in New York and Ferguson, Missouri, the Foundation awarded rapid action grants totaling $20,000 to PolicyLink (www.policylink.org) and Advancement Project (www.advancementproject.org) for policy guidance, communications and advocacy on Constitutional policing. PICO California (www.picocalifornia.org) received $10,000 to provide on the ground support to the police accountability campaign in Ferguson.

Proposition 47, passed by voters in November, brings sweeping reforms to California’s sentencing of low-level offenses, reclassifying six non-violent felonies to misdemeanors, including drug possession and petty theft. The hundreds of millions of dollars in annual savings will be used to fund truancy and drop-out prevention programs in schools, victims’ services, and mental health and drug treatment services aimed at keeping people out of prisons and jails.