Approved by California voters in November 2014, Proposition (Prop) 47 reclassified certain nonviolent, non-serious drug and property felonies to misdemeanors and generated millions of dollars in state savings. California allocates over half of these savings for mental health and substance use services through a competitive grant program administered by the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC). In this spirit, Prop 47 is a form of justice reinvestment: it decreases criminal justice spending and uses the savings to fund community-based programs.
In 2017, the BSCC approved $103 million in Prop 47 funding for 23 local public agencies to implement behavioral health and diversion programs. Each agency is required to pass through at least 50% of its funding to community-based organizations (CBOs), thereby ensuring programs rely on community partnership and collaboration. Local agencies’ proposals for the second round of Prop 47 funding—which will total $96 million—are due March 18.
Prop 47’s focus on community-based services offers an exciting opportunity for public agencies to develop and strengthen their partnerships with CBOs. Through RDA’s strategic planning and evaluation work, including two evaluations of Prop 47-funded programs, we know that effective collaboration requires thoughtful consideration and planning. To foster strategic and meaningful engagement with community organizations, we recommend that public agencies:
If you are interested in learning more about how RDA can support Prop 47 planning, implementation, and evaluation, please contact David Onek, RDA’s Justice Practice Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 510-488-3820.