We're working on a new version of PRX. Want a sneak peek?

Piece image
Image by: Lloyd DeGrane 

From Reform to Transform: California's Prop 47 and the Movement to End Mass Incarceration

From: Chris Moore-Backman
Series: Bringing Down the New Jim Crow
Length: 29:00

Embed_button
From Reform to Transform introduces listeners to passionate racial and social justice advocates in California who crafted, promoted, and saw through to victory a bold state proposition that changed the criminal justice landscape across the United States. In November 2014, California state Proposition 47, the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act, passed with 60% voter approval, reducing most "nonserious and non-violent" property and drug offenses from felonies to misdemeanors. Exploring Prop 47's impacts nearly a year later, this installment of the Bringing Down the New Jim Crow radio documentary series features a fascinating array of interviews that shed light on the differences and interconnection between policy reform and deep-rooted social transformation.

Th2_small In 2014, with prisons bursting at their seams and a national movement to end mass incarceration catching fire, a broad coalition of racial and social justice organizations in California launched a statewide, community-based campaign in support of California state Proposition 47, the Reduced Penalties for Some Crimes Initiative. Approved by a wide margin of California voters, the measure reduced most "nonserious and non-violent" property and drug offenses from felonies to misdemeanors, an advance that is now slashing prison populations statewide. The community organizers who brought Prop 47 into existence are hopeful that California, the trend-setting state that set the bar for tough on crime policies across the nation, is now setting a trend to reverse them.

This half-hour installment of the Bringing Down the New Jim Crow radio documentary series features captivating interviews with some of the key racial justice advocates who made Prop 47 a reality. These social changemakers seek more than policy reform. They are working to transform the mindset and the conversation about race, punishment and justice in the US, a nation increasingly dissatisfied with its beleaguered and ineffective penal system. From Reform to Transform is produced by Chris Moore-Backman, and includes the music of Rhian Sheehan and Stray Theories.

Piece Description

In 2014, with prisons bursting at their seams and a national movement to end mass incarceration catching fire, a broad coalition of racial and social justice organizations in California launched a statewide, community-based campaign in support of California state Proposition 47, the Reduced Penalties for Some Crimes Initiative. Approved by a wide margin of California voters, the measure reduced most "nonserious and non-violent" property and drug offenses from felonies to misdemeanors, an advance that is now slashing prison populations statewide. The community organizers who brought Prop 47 into existence are hopeful that California, the trend-setting state that set the bar for tough on crime policies across the nation, is now setting a trend to reverse them.

This half-hour installment of the Bringing Down the New Jim Crow radio documentary series features captivating interviews with some of the key racial justice advocates who made Prop 47 a reality. These social changemakers seek more than policy reform. They are working to transform the mindset and the conversation about race, punishment and justice in the US, a nation increasingly dissatisfied with its beleaguered and ineffective penal system. From Reform to Transform is produced by Chris Moore-Backman, and includes the music of Rhian Sheehan and Stray Theories.

Timing and Cues

20-second music bed for station identification: 12:50-13:10

Musical Works

Title Artist Album Label Year Length
Sileo Rhian Sheehan Stories From Elsewhere. Bandcamp 2013 03:43
Little Sines Rhian Sheehan Stories From Elsewhere. Bandcamp 2013 03:32
Signs of Life Stray Theories Those Who Remain. Bandcamp 2013 07:03
Blackout Stray Theories Even Though We Sleep. Bandcamp 2012 06:58
A Distant Light Stray Theories Even Though We Sleep. Bandcamp 2012 04:44

Additional Credits

Featuring Michelle Alexander, Lenore Anderson, Meredith Desautel, Laura Magnani, Charsleen Poe, Karren Lane, Gilbert Johnson, and CT Turney

Related Website

bringingdownthenewjimcrow.com