In a special op-ed for the Huffington Post, the singer and philanthropist explains the harsh realities Americans face in the prison system for petty crimes. In his editorial, Legend encourages people in California to vote yes on Proposition 47, a measure that will reduce crimes like theft, forgery, and drug possession to misdemeanors. In doing so, extra money will be used for education, health initiatives, and mental health treatment. He writes:
“America’s incarceration addiction has torn apart communities, disenfranchised millions of people — most for nonviolent offenses — and denied countless individuals an opportunity to gain employment, housing and even some of their most basic human rights. And it hasn’t made us any safer — more that 6 out of 10 prisoners return to prison after release while communities struggle with run down schools and inadequate resources.
Change in our justice system is long overdue. That’s why I’m advocating so strongly for the passage of Proposition 47, a groundbreaking sentencing reform initiative in California that will begin to reverse decades of over-incarceration and reallocate prison spending to schools, prevention and treatment.
Prop. 47 will change six low-level nonviolent drug possession and petty theft crimes from felonies to misdemeanors, and invest the prison cost savings — in the millions of dollars — into K-12 schools, mental health treatment and victim services.
I urge you to tell your neighbors, co-workers, family members and friends about the critical importance of voting Yes on Prop. 47.
This election — less than two weeks away — will make history not only in California, but also in the rest of the country.
Now is the time to act. Now is the time to vote Yes on Prop. 47.”
Learn more about Prop 47 here.
SOURCE: Huffington Post | VIDEO CREDIT: YouTube