Join us for a presentation and discussion about the movement to end California’s Three Strikes law. Since 1994, California’s Three Strikes law has exponentially increased the state’s prison population and devastated communities of color and poor people. This brutal law required a minimum sentence of 25 years to life for people with prior felony convictions, even if the third conviction was neither serious nor violent. In 2012, this law was amended stating that for three strikes to be warranted, the third strike had to be serious or violent. However, this amendment did not change the realities of the thousands of people serving lengthy life sentences under the law’s original intent.
During this event, we will hear from the Repeal California’s ThreeStrikes Law Coalition, a new coalition organized by people directly impacted by the Three Strikes Law, including currently and formerly incarcerated people and loved ones of people serving these draconian sentences. The Repeal California’s Three Strikes Law Coalition will share their bold and necessary vision to remove the three strikes law entirely, reinvest cost savings into impacted communities through education, reentry, victim services, housing, mental health, and workforce development, as well the role funders can play in supporting this movement.
Anne Irwin, Founder, and Director, Smart Justice California
Anne works to elect and educate policymakers who support meaningful criminal justice reform that promotes safety, fairness, and healthy communities. Anne spearheads Smart Justice’s blended 501c3, 501c4, and electoral engagement strategy for persuading and inspiring California’s elected officials to adopt new approaches to criminalization and incarceration. Anne recently led committees to elect Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon, Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly Mitchell, and San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin. Anne is also Vice President of the JK Irwin Foundation, a family foundation focused on ending mass incarceration and criminalization. Prior to founding SJCA, Anne was a trial attorney in the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office for many years. Anne is a graduate of Stanford Law School and New York University. She has served on the American Constitution Society, Prison University Project, and Threshold Foundation boards. Anne currently serves on the Board of The Justice Collaborative/The Appeal. Anne was born and raised in San Francisco and is raising her two young daughters there.
John Yahya Johnson, Co-producer, Ear Hustle Podcast
John Yahya Johnson is a co-producer on the Ear Hustle Podcast, a podcast that has largely contributed to advancing the voice of incarcerated people through the power of storytelling, thus helping to broaden the narrative on how incarcerated people are perceived. After being convicted and sentenced to a prison term of 30 years to life under the California three strikes law, he dedicated himself to carceral justice reform, and joined a policy group to confront and change systemic abuses of power through both the legislative and initiative process. Since his release in April 2020, he has continued to be an integral part of the carceral and social justice reform movement by joining the Repeal California Three Strikes Coalition as a campaign consultant to repeal the three-strikes law, and the Stop San Quentin Outbreak Coalition to address the systemic failures of government to effectively preserve the sanctity of life of those incarcerated people impacted by the Covid-19 virus in California’s prisons. John is passionate about carceral and social justice reform because he has firsthand experience having been directly impacted by both.
Zakiya Prince, Campaign Lead, Repeal California’s Three Strikes Law Coalition
She was born and raised in the Bay Area, CA and is a graduate of California State University, Northridge. Zakiya spent several years working as an educator and social worker but her fierce advocacy for her husband, who was sentenced to 35 years to life under California’s Three Strikes law, led her to the fight to end mass incarceration. As someone impacted by the carceral system, she has dedicated her life to disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline, fighting to end mass incarceration, and empowering people who have been oppressed to fight for the freedoms they deserve. She is currently the Campaign Lead for the Repeal California’s Three Strikes Law Coalition and a Women’s Policy Institute (WPI) Fellow.
Jayda Rasberry, Membership Coordinator, CURB’s Statewide
Jayda Rasberry is a public figure and organizer from Los Angeles. After being arrested, convicted, and sentenced to prison for 6 years at the age of 18, she knew that her life would be changed forever. In 2014, Jayda’s experiences led her to become an organizer with Dignity and Power Now (DPN), where she learned the importance of base building, accountability, and healing. In 2015, Jayda graduated from Liberty Hill County Commissions Training and studied advocacy within local government structures, including how to serve on city boards and commissions. She flourished at DPN and was promoted to Organizing Director and Deputy Director Of External Relations. She is well known for “Grassroots With Jayda,” a media series created by and for formerly incarcerated people, and beyond. Jayda is a graduate of Women’s Policy Institute and became CURB’s Statewide Membership Coordinator in 2021.
Earlonne Woods, Co-producer, Co-host, Co-creator of Ear Hustle Podcast
Earlonne born and raised in South Central Los Angeles. In 1997, he was sentenced to 31-years-to-life in prison. While incarcerated, he received his GED, attended Coastline Community College, and completed many vocational trade programs. In November 2018, California Governor Jerry Brown commuted Earlonne’s sentence after 21 years of incarceration. Upon his release, Earlonne was hired by PRX as a full-time producer for Ear Hustle, and he continues to work with Nigel, contributing stories about re-entry.
This program is open to NCG members and CCJFG members.