For Immediate Release
May 15, 2017
CONTACT: Daisy Vieyra, (916) 442-1036 x613, email@example.com
California State Senate Passes Bill to Repeal Sentence Enhancement for Prior Drug Convictions
Critics Say Long Sentences Failed to Reduce Drug Sales, Exacerbated Racial Disparities in Sentencing, Crippled State and Local Budgets
Sacramento, CA — The California Senate took a step to address what many described as an expensive failed policy that exacerbated racial disparities in sentencing by passing SB 180 by Senators Holly Mitchell of Los Angeles and Ricardo Lara of Long Beach. The bill passed along party lines, 22-13, with most Democrats supporting the reform, and most Republicans opposing.
The RISE Act, for Repeal Ineffective Sentencing Enhancements, would repeal a three-year mandatory enhancement for prior drug convictions that are added to any new conviction. Today, someone convicted for sale or possession for sale of a minuscule amount of drugs, can face 3-5 years plus an additional three years in jail for each prior conviction for similar drug offenses. Public defenders have testified in legislative committees that homeless, mentally ill and addicted persons are incredibly vulnerable to these unfair sentences.