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Action Guide
March 7, 2000

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF CALIFORNIA

OPPOSES

Proposition 21 — Gang Violence and Juvenile Crime Prevention Act
Initiative Statute

DESCRIPTION

This initiative would make significant changes to both the juvenile and adult criminal justice systems. It would:

The measure provides inadequate protections for juveniles accused of crimes, such as requirements of evidence of gang participation. The measure provides no funds to support the huge costs it imposes on state and local government.

BACKGROUND

Proposition 21 originated as a legislative package supported by former Governor Wilson and proposed by district attorneys. Critics of the proposal have noted that it was developed without the input of probation officers, judges, school authorities, youth service agencies, community groups and others that deal with the problems of children and violence. When it was rejected by the Legislature in 1998, Wilson sponsored an initiative drive to put the measure on the ballot.

In 1999, the Legislature passed SB 334, which affected a number of areas covered by Proposition 21 and which went into effect January 1, 2000. The law automatically sends juveniles 16 and older to adult court for certain serious offenses if they were previously found guilty of a felony committed at age 14 or older. SB 334 also broadens the rights of crime victims to participate in juvenile court hearings. These provisions of SB 334 would be repealed by Proposition 21.

IMPORTANT POINTS

SUPPORTERS
Signing ballot argument for:
OPPONENTS
Signing ballot argument against:
Maggie Elvey, Associate Director
Crime Victims United

Grover Trask, President
California District Attorneys Association

Richard Tefank, President
California Police Chiefs Association

Lavonne McBroom, President
Calif. State Parent Teachers Association (PTA)

Gail Dryden, President
League of Women Voters of California

Raymond Wingerd, President
Chief Probation Officers of California

The rebuttal to the supporters' arguments was signed by Allen Breed, Former Director, California Youth Authority; Larry Price, Chief Probation Officer, Fresno County; and Father Gregory Boyle, Member, California State Commission on Juvenile Justice, Crime and Delinquency Prevention.

Other opponents mentioned in the official ballot arguments include Marc Klaas/KlaasKids Foundation, California Council of Churches, California Catholic Conference, Children's Defense Fund, and California Tax Reform Association.


RESOURCES

See a flyer on this initiative.

Californians for Community Safety, 415-437-4009, noprop21@hotmail.com, www.noprop21.org.

Legislative Analyst's Office analysis at www.lao.ca.gov.

The Youth Law Center: Sue Burrell of the Center has analyzed the changes that would be made to the Penal Code (PC) and to the Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) by Proposition 21 as well as those changes made to these codes by Senate Bill 334, which went into effect January 1, 2000. A hard or email copy of this over-30 page report may be obtained by calling the Youth Law Center, 415-543-3379. The analysis will also be available in the Forum, the Journal of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, and on the website of the Center for Juvenile and Criminal Justice at www.cjcj.org.

The California State Association of Counties (CSAC) has sent their draft staff report of the Anticipated County Impact to the counties.


Return to Action Guide Summary, March 2000. On what other propositions is the League recommending a vote?
Go to LWVCEF's Nonpartisan Proposition Analyses.
Go find information about candidates and measures on your ballot at Smart Voter.
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