Everyday Injustice Podcast Episode 165: California Policy Lab Examines Three Strikes Law

A new report released in August by the nonpartisan California Policy Lab (CPL) found “that thousands of Californians saw their prison sentences lengthened because of this law, and more than one-third (36%) of people currently incarcerated in California are serving a longer sentence because of Three Strikes.”

The report provides an in-depth look at the impact of California’s Three-Strikes Law, which went into effect nearly 30 years ago. The law mandates longer prison sentences for people convicted of new felonies if they had a previous conviction for a serious or violent felony. For a second felony conviction, sentences are doubled in length, while a third serious or violent conviction results in the sentence being increased to at least 25 years to life.

“California’s Three Strikes sentencing law stands apart from the sentencing practices of other states in both its punitiveness as well as its broad application,” explains co-author Steve Raphael, a public policy professor at UC Berkeley. “The law has lengthened the sentences of nearly 60,000 prison admissions since 2015 and affects the sentences of over a third of the currently incarcerated, many of whom were convicted of non-serious, non-violent offenses. Our report documents how frequently Three-Strikes sentencing is applied, how it lengthens sentences, and who is most impacted.”

Joining Everyday Injustice was Steve Raphael who co-authored the report and discussed the report’s implications.

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Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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