Vera California

On any given day, half a million people are held in California jails, prisons, and immigration detention centers, with more on probation supervision. The state spends billions each year on prisons alone.

Black and Latino/a Californians have been disproportionately harmed by this system of incarceration. At the same time, the state has failed to invest in housing, employment, and substance use and mental health treatment—all things that help communities thrive and keep us safer.

people arrested in California in 2020, more than any other state.
people held in California jails while awaiting trial, the second-highest pretrial detention rate in the country.
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation proposed budget for FY 2022.

Now, millions of Californians—inspired by the work of organizers, advocates, and directly impacted people—are demanding an end to mass incarceration.

Vera California works with communities and government to reduce incarceration and spark investments in long-underfunded community-based programs that promote safety and wellness. We provide trusted data and policy analysis to produce concrete solutions that center racial equity. And we bring expertise on best practices from around the country to local conversations in California.

We collaborate with government leaders and community partners to create new policies with real impacts on people’s lives, working together toward a vision of safety, wellness, and racial justice for all Californians.

Vera California is one of Vera’s three place-based initiatives, along with Greater Justice New York and Vera Louisiana. We serve the unique purpose of harnessing our strengths and assets to invest locally in dismantling the systems that punish and harm and building institutions that deliver safety and justice. Each of our place-based initiatives are led by staff who live in those communities.

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