What A Difference a Year Makes

After lobbying with our members, allies, advocates and formerly incarcerated Californians at the State Capitol last month, calling our legislators, and sharing stories of the people most impacted by sentence enhancements, the California State Assembly passed SB 136! Now, the bill is on the Governor’s desk to rein in the destructive and ineffective one-year sentence enhancement that has added years to over 10,000 people’s sentences in California prisons.

 

Governor Newsom has until October 13 to sign this bill into law. This is just one example of how we can organize people power to achieve impactful change for people inside.

We all know how much can change in a year. One additional year of incarceration means people are apart from their families for important events: their children’s first day at school or high school graduation, family birthdays, holidays, and even deaths in their families.

Taking a look back on our huge Lobby Day last month, we wanted to recognize the dozens of incarcerated Californians who shared important milestones they missed while in prison for our exhibit, “What A Difference A Year Makes.” These milestones demonstrate the toll an extra year can take on people’s lives and their relationships with their loved ones.

The exhibit quoted James Vick, a SB 136 supporter who is currently incarcerated: “One year in this awful place can easily become a lifetime of misery, heartache, loneliness, pain, and uncertainty – because someone felt that a one-year enhancement was ‘only a year.’”

 

Take a look at photos from the exhibit and let Governor Newsom know you support #SB136 by writing him today!

In Solidarity

Ashley Chambers

Communications Associate