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3 Strikes & You’re Out: An Examination of the Impact of Strikes Laws 10 years after their Enactment

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In Category : Criminal Justice Reform, Long Prison Terms, Place Based Reform, Racial Equity

In 1993, the state of Washington passed the nation’s first “Three Strikes and You’re Out” law by voter initiative. Backed in Washington and later in California by the powerful National Rifle Association and fueled by the highly publicized murders of Polly Klass (in California) and Diane Ballasiotes (in Washington), voter initiatives passed in both states by wide margins. Over the next several years Three Strikes laws spread like wild fire, 23 states and the federal government passed Three Strikes laws. In 1994 when Three Strikes reform was at its height; 10 states and the federal government enacted Three Strikes laws in one year. Perhaps most indicative of the Three Strikes movement, President Bill Clinton received lengthy applause during his State of the Union address when he touted the law with the catchy baseball name.

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Keywords:
Brief, California, Drug policy, Prison Population, Sentencing, State & Local Policy

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