Our Voices

RFK Human Rights Calls for Californians to Oppose Prop 25

In solidarity with California’s grassroots movement to overhaul the state’s unjust system of pretrial incarceration, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights joins in opposition to Prop 25 on the ballot this November.

Californians can and must demand more of their leaders who claim to support much needed reforms. Sadly, instead of passing legislation that would in fact decarcerate California’s jails and reduce pretrial incarceration across the board, legislators instead ignored community and expert demands by passing SB10 which simply replaces one driver of unjust pretrial imprisonment (money bail) with equally, if not more concerning, new mechanisms like racist algorithms, unchecked judicial power, and expanded preventative detention. If Prop 25 passes, the results will be devastating. Jails will remain full of Black, Brown, and Indigenous bodies. Racial profiling will be further enshrined into law and everyday practice. Judges will lack any accountability for their orders to put Californians in cages. And precious state resources will be diverted to expand the ongoing surveillance of communities.

The injustice of money bail is real. As early as 1964, my father Attorney General Robert Kennedy, led nationwide calls to reform money bail and eradicate wealth based detention from our criminal legal system once and for all. But at the core of his concern was the human cost and injustice of pretrial incarceration. Unfortunately, SB10 misses the mark precisely because it ignores the catastrophic human costs of incarceration.

Leaders in Sacramento must do better if we are to move forward as a nation to heal the deep wounds that mass incarceration have inflicted on our society for far too long. Now more than ever this moment demands that we take decisive action to reduce the scale, scope, and power of the criminal legal system. This is why Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights joins the call for all Californians to oppose Prop 25.