Sykes is a demographer and sociologist who studies the contours, causes, and consequences of crime and mass incarceration in America.
Prop 17: "Voting 'yes' on Proposition 17 is a step in the right direction for restoring the citizenship rights of formerly incarcerated people now on parole. This constitutional amendment means that many people, especially people of color, will no longer be disenfranchised by a system that dilutes the political power of specific demographic groups.”
Prop 20: “Proposition 20 is complicated because it lumps a variety of issues into a single policy decision. One could vote ‘no’ to prevent the collection of DNA for crimes that are not related to sexual offenses or violence (shoplifting, grand theft, forging a check, etc.) but also vote ‘yes’ to change certain theft-related crimes from felonies or wobblers (crimes chargeable as felonies or misdemeanors) to misdemeanors. This is a complicated proposition precisely because there are five different policy changes wrapped up in a single proposition.”
Prop 25: "Voting 'yes' on Proposition 25 would reduce the number of people in county jails simply because they are too poor to bond out. Risk assessments, while not always perfect, are better tools for evaluating the pre-trial and pre-sentence release of defendants than the size of their bank accounts or other financial resources.”