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REFORM Alliance scores major legal victory with new California probation law

JAY-Z and Meek Mill’s REFORM Alliance enjoyed its first legal victory as a new California law has been formulated. On Wednesday (Sept. 30), Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1950 into law. This legislation was largely pushed by REFORM Alliance, with the aim of making substantial strides in probation reform.

The bill was sponsored by Assemblywoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove, and it aims to lower recidivism rates through the shortening of probation terms in the state. This new law will reduce the probation period for the majority of misdemeanor cases to one year from three, and for most felonies, it is two years instead of five.

“By signing AB 1950 into law, Governor Newsom has further cemented his legacy as a champion for justice, redemption and opportunity,” REFORM Alliance CEO Van Jones said in a statement.

“In a year that has been so challenging and difficult for so many, this reform marks a bright spot that will lead to better outcomes for individuals and families across California. I cannot thank the Governor enough for supporting this legislation. I look forward to working with him to make the measure even stronger and more meaningful in the coming year.”

REFORM pushed for the legislation by stating that California taxpayers are currently spending more than $4,400 each year on the state’s 300,000 probationers. Furthermore, each year, California reportedly spends about $2 billion in order to incarcerate people for parole violations. Out of that, it is claimed that $235 million is being expended on sending people back to jail for “victimless, technical violations, like coming home late from work.” REFORM is optimistic that the government savings from the new law will be directed towards anti-recidivism programs.

“I want to thank Governor Newsom for his leadership in signing AB1950 — the most transformative probation bill in this country to date,” JAY-Z said. “This is a first step that I hope introduces a wave of much needed change throughout the country.”

On Wednesday, Gov. Newsom signed a law that will work towards formulating plans for reparations for Black California residents. See REFORM’s announcement on Instagram below.


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