Proposition 6 would:
Deem any youth 14 years or older who is convicted of a "gang-related" felony as unfit for trial in a juvenile court or housing in a youth prison.
Deny bail to undocumented immigrants charged with "gang related" crimes and require local sheriffs to inform Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of the arrest and charges of people who are undocumented.
Stiffen the penalties for crimes that are associated with gangs.
Proposition 6, on the November 2008 ballot in California was introduced by State Senate Republican Caucus chairperson Senator George Runner and is funded primarily by Henry T. Nicholas III. Controversy has arisen over Nicholas' funding of the initiative, as he is currently under indictment for felony drug, conspiracy, and securities fraud.
The way it is now:
Currently, the state spends about $10 billion per year to run the state prison system, which has about 171,000 inmates.
What Prop 6 would do if it passes:
Require an additional $365 million to be spent by the state on specific local law enforcement and criminal programs, beginning in 2009-10.
Increase penalties for certain crimes, especially those related to gangs.
Increase number of parole officers.
Fiscal effect on government:
New state spending that would incrase to more than $500 million a year to pay for local law enforcement and criminal justice programs.
One time costs of about $500,000 million to build prisons to house additional inmates due to tougher penalties.
People for Prop 6 say:
Proposition 6 will bring more police and increased safety to streets, along with more juvenile crime prevention.
Gang members who commit violent felony crimes will spend more time in prison.
Proponents claim that funding this "tough on crime" initiative is worthwhile. the bill's supporters also believe it will solve gang violence through prosecution of the crimes. Therefore, this initiative relies on prisons and law enforcement to solve the problem of gangs. Proponents refer to Proposition 6 as "The Safe Neighborhoods Act" and include Corrections Corporation of American, Golden State Bail Bonds Association, California Association of Health Care Underwriters, Henry T. Nicholas III, California State Sheriff's Association, Mike Reynolds, the author of the Three Strikes Law, and the Chief Probation Officers' of California.
People Against Prop 6 say:
Prop 6 will waste billions on unproven programs
Anti-gang programs in communities need to be given more time to work.
Opponents explain that increased prison spending will take money away from other programs funded by the General Fund, such as education and health care, during a time of budget crisis and is not effective in preventing criminal activity. These people believe the money is better spent striking at the roots of the problem, education for example.
A recent Field Poll shows that half of Californians are in favor of cutting the prison budget. 4.6 % were in favor of cutting funding for schools and 3.6% were in favor of cutting health care. More people favored cutting prison spending than any other category throughout each section fo the survey.
Opponents refer to Proposition 6 as "The Runner Initiative" and include the California Democratic Party, the California Professional Firefighters, former Los Angeles Police Chief Bernard Parks, the California Teachers Association, the Los Angeles City Council, California Children's Defense Fund, California Church IMPACT, California NAACP and teh Ella baker Center for Human Rights and the W. Haywood Burns Institute.
Prop 6: Police and Law Enforcement Funding (Defeated)
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