The California Reparations Board is demanding compensation for prisoners
California’s controversial redress body is urging the state legislature to close 10 prisons and ensure current inmates also receive compensation and have the right to vote.
It was previously reported that the panel was attempting to pass legislation introducing a wealth tax, a manor tax and/or a property tax to fund the multi-billion dollar reparations.
At their meeting in San Diego this weekend, the panel tentatively approved a recommendation that ten prisons should be rocked while discussions are held on what to do with the sites.
California’s state prisons are home to some of the country’s most notorious prisoners, including serial killers and lifelong gang members.
A spokesman for the weekend’s meeting claimed that black people in California’s prisons are not being “rehabilitated.”
The savings generated by closing the prisons will be used to fund the work of the new government agency being set up to distribute reparations, the California American Freedman Affairs Agency.
The group has recommended more convenient treatment for current inmates, including eliminating certain types of punishment and paying more money for work done while incarcerated.
The names and locations of the prisons were not specified in the report. California has 34 active state prisons.
The task force has yet to determine the amount of money that will be spent, and has not yet determined what eligibility requirements recipients must meet. At the last meeting, the only requirement discussed was residency in California.
Task force member Cheryl Grills said last weekend: “We want to be as comprehensive as possible because the damage is everywhere. It is ubiquitous and touches all black people.”
Kamilah V. Moore, the taskforce chair, said the panel may support allowing those who were “harmed” in California but subsequently moved to another state to apply.
The only states in the Union that currently allow inmates to vote are Maine and Vermont, which counts Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders among its representatives.
According to the Vera Institute of Justice, 28 percent of California’s 90,000 inmates are black, while 20 percent of inmates in county jails are also black.
Professional criminal Marion Suge Knight, left, founder of Death Row Records, is not due for parole until 2034. Malicious pedophile and murderer Marcus Wesson, right, is on death row after being found guilty of killing nine of his children
Michael Hughes, left, was convicted of murdering seven women in the 1990s. Chester Turner, known as The Southside Slayer, killed at least 15 people over a 12-year period
Other recommendations included granting inmates the right to vote, allowing inmates to be paid at a market rate for work done in prison, abolishing the death penalty, increasing college scholarships for black high school graduates, and providing interest-free loans for black own company.
The task force also voted to extend its work through July 2024, with the group originally scheduled to complete its efforts in July of this year.
Speaking to California Black Media, Moore said, “The task force supports in spirit the extension of the lifespan of the task force by one additional year, July 1, 2024, for implementation purposes only.
“We don’t approve or make legislation, but everyone, as a task force, agreed to the idea of continuing this work to ensure reparations become a reality in California.”
Inmates eligible for slavery compensation could include Death Row Records founder and career criminal Marion “Suge” Knight or Marcus Wesson, who is on death row after being convicted of murdering nine of his children on top of 14 counts was convicted of rape as well as Chester Turner, who was convicted of murdering 10 women in 2014, and Michael Hughes, who killed at least 10 women in the early 1990s.
The Reparations Committee held a meeting this weekend that lasted over 15 hours over a two-day period
California’s infamous San Quentin Prison, home to some of the state’s most notorious inmates
In 2022, the committee made the controversial decision to limit reparations to descendants of black people in the United States beginning in the 19th century, either as freed or enslaved people.
In September, economists began listing preliminary estimates of what the state might owe as a result of discriminatory policies. However, they said they need more data to get more complete numbers.
Moore said at the time that his group had not decided on dollar amounts, the type of reparations, or where the money would come from.
Demands for reparations to compensate black Americans for the damage caused by slavery are nothing new, but left-leaning states and cities have run into problems of late trying to put these ideas into practice.
Many proposals were controversial, with questions about who will be paid how much and by whom proving contentious.
The other proposal put forward at Friday’s California Reparations Task Force meeting were proposals to tax the wealthy, such as through a state estate tax or a mansion tax; Incentives for wealthy people to fund reparations by granting tax breaks; or to help all taxpayers below the median wealth line through a tax credit, reports MarketWatch.
Their proposals were all based on the notion that current US tax laws favor the rich – who they say are more likely to be white.
“Our written tax laws have different implications,” said Dorothy Brown, tax professor at Georgetown Law and author of The Whiteness of Wealth: How the Tax System Imoverishes Black Americans & How We Can Fix It.
Kamilah V. Moore, the taskforce chair, said the panel may support allowing those who were “harmed” in California but subsequently moved to another state to apply
“Black people are likely to pay higher taxes,” she said, because they’re less likely to have access to the same tax breaks as their white counterparts.
She said the best idea for funding reparations would be “a wealth tax credit that applies to all taxpayers in households with wealth below the median.”
“Given the racial disparity in wealth, this will result in a disproportionate percentage of black households receiving the loan,” she said.
Two estate planners, meanwhile, introduced the idea of taxing “swollen” wealth to replace what they called “stolen” wealth.
Sarah Moore Johnson and Raymond Odom claimed that the racial wealth gap widened after 1981, when then-President Reagan implemented the largest tax cut in American history.
The two cited Federal Reserve data from 2019 showing that the average white household had $812,000 more than the average black household.
They proposed introducing a state estate tax, mansion tax, or tiered property tax — although they noted that this may not be possible in California, since Proposition 13 taxes real estate based on its sale value.
Moore Johnson and Odom even proposed a tax on the “Metaverse.”
And in her testimony, Moore Johnson, a founding partner of Washington DC-based Birchstone Moore, also suggested setting up a reparations tax fund that could receive charitable donations.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11696863/California-reparations-panel-calls-compensation-given-prisoners.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 The California Reparations Board is demanding compensation for prisoners