Group tackles Prop 47 at Southwest Fresno forum

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Faith leaders met with state and local corrections officials Thursday night in Southwest Fresno to tackle criminal justice reform. (KFSN)

Faith leaders met with state and local corrections officials Thursday night in Southwest Fresno to tackle criminal justice reform. They focused on how to better implement Proposition 47 -- the state initiative that lowers sentences for drug offenders and other non-violent criminals.

Several hundred people packed Westside Baptist Church at the second of four statewide forums. They took turns at the microphone, offering ways to make Prop 47 work.

Critics say the proposition has reduced the state's prison population, but property crimes have increased in neighborhoods. Supporters say it needs time to work.

"Anytime you have an opportunity for redemption, people are excited. People have had lives just swept in the margins, in the cracks of society, and this is an opportunity for redemption," said Pastor Chris Breedlove with Community United Church of Christ.

More forums like this one are planned for Sacramento and Los Angeles.

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