UC Berkeley Gave Hundreds of Thousands to Group Seeking to Empty Prisons

UC Berkeley Gave Hundreds of Thousands to Group Seeking to Empty Prisons

The political left has done more to make Americans unsafe and put their lives at risk than any movement in the history of the country, as evidenced by the “defund police” movement and ongoing efforts to drain our prisons.

To the latter point, new filings have revealed that the University of California-Berkeley gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to a far-left organization dedicated to making prisons a thing of the past.

“Berkeley sent over $262,500 to the Heising-Simons Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charity that opposes ‘mass incarceration’ and backs prison reform, according to records obtained by the transparency watchdog OpenTheBooks. The charity has granted huge sums to groups trying to overhaul the criminal justice system and get inmates back onto the streets, a Daily Caller News Foundation review found,” the outlet reported Monday.

Peter Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars, a conservative education group, told the DCNF: “UC Berkeley is effectively funding the further breakdown of civil society in California.”

“By funding a foundation that seeks to dismantle what it calls ‘carceral systems,’ the university is only arm’s length away from the prosecutors who refuse to prosecute and the officials who have opened the prison doors to serious offenders who have served only fractions of their sentences,” Wood added.

The outlet noted further that it was not clear if the payment made by UC Berkeley came from private funds or public dollars. It’s also not clear what the money was actually for, the DCNF added. The university sponsors a Heising-Simons Faculty Fellows Program that annually awards a pair of Berkeley faculty staff “working on topics in a diverse set of fields” with $200,000 over five-year periods to conduct research, the outlet reported.

Married longtime liberal activists Liz Simons and Mark Heising launched the Heising-Simons Foundation in 2007. They have both given donated millions to Dem political candidates and left-wing PACs, according to Federal Election Commission records.

“Simons notably joined three liberal donors in spending $22 million on criminal justice ballot measures and has supported George Gascón, the Los Angeles district attorney backed by billionaire George Soros who voters sought to recall for his soft-on-crime policies, Politico reported. The recall effort failed in August,” the DCNF noted.

The foundation says it seeks to “challenge mass criminalization” while also claiming that “structural racism pervades” U.S. society, without providing any real context for such a claim or any evidence, which is typical of the left.

The group says that it invests in “communities rather than prisons and surveillance” as well as organizations seeking “to shrink and ultimately dismantle carceral systems and reimagine new approaches to safety, justice, and accountability.”

Meanwhile, most Democrat-run cities infested with Soros-backed district attorneys have seen major increases in violence and crime, which in turn has sparked recall efforts. Republicans running for office in November are coalescing around a basket of policies called the “Commitment to America” that includes major funding and support for law enforcement efforts and police officers.

Recent polling shows voters trust Republicans far more than Democrats to reverse the upward trends in violent crime.


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