April 2, 2024

Press Contacts
Joshua Stickney, Ella Baker Center, 405-315-4151
Daisy Vieyra, Smart Justice California, 805-612-4710

#SmartSolutions: California Advocates & Lawmakers Unveil Bi-partisan, Public Safety Policy Platform

Lawmakers join broad coalition of groups advocating for legislative solutions to disrupt the sale of stolen goods on online marketplaces, increase access to drug treatment, and expand support for victims of crime

SACRAMENTO — Today, criminal justice reform advocates, addiction treatment experts, and Yurok Tribal leaders unveiled the #SmartSolutions public safety policy platform itemizing nearly 30 bills to address issues facing retailers and retail workers, the fentanyl overdose crisis, and support for victims and survivors of crime. Advocates were joined by State Senators Lola Smallwood-Cuevas (D-Los Angeles) and Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), and Assemblymembers Tina McKinnor (D-Inglewood) and Eloise Gómez Reyes (D-Colton).

The #SmartSolutions public safety policy platform includes legislation to address the root causes of theft and improve workplace safety by ensuring adequate staffing levels in stores, curbing the online sale of stolen goods, and limiting how many items can be purchased through self-checkout machines. Research shows that self-checkout machines generate a loss rate more than double the industry average. The platform also includes legislation to stop theft by increasing the use of diversion programs, like Los Angeles’ Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program, which led to five times fewer felony arrests for participants after 12 months. 

Additionally, advocates and addiction treatment experts called for the passage of over a dozen bills that will help save lives and address the opioid overdose epidemic with cost-effective solutions. The bills would make drug treatment, including treatment medications, more accessible. FDA-approved treatment medications such as buprenorphine can help normalize brain chemistry, relieve cravings, and even prevent withdrawal symptoms. Despite this, only 1 in 10 Californians with a substance use disorder receive treatment. 

To ensure safety and justice for all victims and survivors of crime, the #SmartSolutions platform also included bills to protect funding for services for survivors of sexual assault, human trafficking, and domestic violence. With federal funding under the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) in jeopardy this year, advocates called for lawmakers to pass legislation to ensure services funded by VOCA are not disrupted. Additionally, recognizing California’s Indigenous people has not always been included in discussions and solutions on public safety, advocates urged support for bills to address the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples. 


Addressing Retail Theft

  • SB 1144 (Skinner): Disrupts the sale of stolen goods on online marketplaces by requiring that third-party sellers be certified, and bans sellers suspected of criminal activity from operating through online marketplace platforms.
  • SB 1446 (Smallwood-Cuevas):  Addresses retail theft and minimizes workplace violence by ensuring there is a safe level of staffing in the retail store and limiting the number and types of items that can be taken through self-checkout.
  • SB 1282 (Smallwood-Cuevas):  Expands the use of diversion by requiring every county to have a diversion program for theft cases and allowing judges to grant diversion in any case they think appropriate. 

Saving Lives & Preventing Opioid Overdose Deaths

  • AB 1842 (Reyes): Expedites access to medication assisted treatment (MAT), such as buprenorphine, to treat substance use disorders by prohibiting commercial health insurers from prior authorization rules that create barriers for these medications. 
  • SB 1468 (Ochoa Bogh and Roth): Educates and encourages providers to make use of the new federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) rule to allow practitioners to dispense a three-day supply of medication to start detoxification treatment or maintenance treatment for people who use opioids.

Supporting Survivors of Crime

  • AB 2833 (McKinnor):  Makes restorative justice – which has been linked to reducing recidivism and increasing survivor healing – more accessible to crime survivors by making these communications inadmissible, except in specified instances.
  • AB 1956 (Reyes): Requires California to support funding for essential crime victim services when there are major reductions that impact their facilitation, including services normally funded by the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) – which are set to expire this year.
  • AB 1863 (Ramos): Strengthens the Feather Alert system by removing the statute that requires local law enforcement to act as the buffer between tribes and the CHP. 
  • AB 2108 (Ramos):  Protects children missing from foster care by developing protocols for counties that require Tribes and other essential parties to be notified when Native American child is missing from foster care.


  • Assemblymember Eloise Reyes (D-Colton):  “Public Safety is a priority here in the California Legislature and I am proud to be a part of the Smart Solutions 2024 Policy Platform. Legislation that I have introduced will eliminate barriers to accessing life-saving medication in our battle against fentanyl, while another bill will ensure we do not encounter major reductions in victim services for those who have suffered from sexual assault, human trafficking, and various other crimes. These efforts make a difference and advance proven solutions that improve community safety and wellbeing.”
  • Senator Lola Smallwood-Cuevas (D-Los Angeles):  “We cannot incarcerate ourselves out of the systemic issues that drive crime in our communities, like poverty, unemployment and homelessness. That’s why I’m bringing forward two bills this year – SB 1282 and SB 1446. This legislation offers diversionary programs, worker protections and safety measures that help address the real underlying causes of crime and poverty.”
  • Assemblymember Tina McKinnor (D-Inglewood):  “Restorative Justice is an essential pillar of our work to break the cycle of recidivism. As the author of AB 2833, which further encourages the use of restorative justice practices, we are leading the way by embracing smart solutions to public safety. I am proud to be joined by Republicans and Democrats supporting AB 2833 and our collective work to break the chains and the generational cycles of recidivism in California.”  
  • Dr. Aimee Moulin, founder of the CA Bridge program and Chief of the Division of Addiction Medicine at the Department of Emergency Medicine at UC Davis Medical Center:  “As an emergency physician I see first hand the toll of addiction and overdose on patients, families and our community. I strongly believe that California’s proposed legislation focused on expanding access to treatment is a crucial step towards saving lives. By removing barriers to care and embracing evidenced-based strategies we can provide patients the support they need to heal and recover.” 
  • Joseph James, Chairman of the Yurok Tribe:  “We are pleased that Tribal justice and safety issues are a part of the Smart Solutions Policy Platform. The Yurok Tribe and all California Tribes have been working for decades to address public safety, justice, and the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples in our communities.  There are clear policy solutions to these crises that the legislature and administration must adopt in 2024 and we deeply appreciate the platform’s elevation of our calls for justice and safety for Native people.” 

The full #SmartSolutions Policy Platform is available here.


Smart Solutions (#SmartSolutions) is comprised of a broad coalition of organizations, including the Anti-Recidivism Coalition, Californians for Safety and Justice, Courage Campaign, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Indivisible California, Initiate Justice, Smart Justice California, and Vera Institute of Justice – California.