Yesterday (April 13), 25 rabbis from San Diego to Sacramento met with Governor Jerry Brown in Los Angeles who presented The Public Safety & Rehabilitation Act of 2016 (see – as an important advance in the criminal justice system. Governor Brown has been approaching all citizen groups and religious leaders to promote this initiative and acquire one million signatures by the middle of May to get this initiative on the ballot.

He was persuasive as he argued that this bill offers not only an advancement in public safety, but also an incentive to non-violent criminals to retrain in prison and reform their behavior so that they can return to society and be productive citizens thereby reducing prison populations and saving tax payer money.

The Governor appealed to us not only on the basis of the merits of the initiative, but on the religious truth that people can and do change when they have incentives and choose to do so. People can repent and live more productive lives.

What specifically does the Public Safety & Rehabilitation Act of 2016 do?

  • Invests in proven public safety strategies that work.
  • Authorizes parole consideration for people with non-violent convictions who complete the full sentence for their primary offense.
  • Incentives people in prison to complete rehabilitation and education programs.
  • Requires the Secretary of Corrections to certify that the regulations implementing these policies protect and enhance public safety.
  • Requires judges rather than prosecutors to decide whether a youth as young as 14-years-old should be tried as an adult.
  • Mandates that a judge carefully reviews all of the circumstances of a youth’s crime and life before making a decision on whether that young person should be charged as an adult.
  • Saves taxpayer dollars by reducing wasteful spending within our correctional system.
  • Keeps the most dangerous offenders locked up.


  • READ THE FULL TEXT HERE –\ Why does California need this Initiative?

The following is taken from the initiative’s website:

“Over the last several decades, California’s jail and prison populations have exploded, and California now spends nearly 10% of its general fund on our prison system. We are simply spending too much taxpayer money locking up nonviolent offenders, when we know that rehabilitation actually keeps our communities safer. Today, California’s prisons are under a court-ordered population cap. Without a common sense, fiscally responsible plan, the court will order the arbitrary release of prisoners. This is an unacceptable outcome that puts Californians in danger.

The Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act of 2016 stops the arbitrary prisoner release and improves public safety. Countless studies have shown that the more people are rehabilitated, the less likely they are to re-offend. By investing in strategic rehabilitation, the initiative will protect California communities and ensure the most dangerous criminals stay locked up.”

I ask you to sign the petition and circulate it to all your friends. 1 million signatures need to be collected by the middle of May to qualify as an initiative on the California ballot. Please help. This is in everyone’s best interest.