Thursday, March 24, 2016

Is Proposition 47 to Blame for California's 2015 Increase in Urban Crime?
"In November 2014, nearly 60 percent of California's electorate voted to pass Proposition 47.  This proposition made substantial sentencing reforms by reducing certain nonviolent, non-serious offenses, such as minor drug possession and shoplifting, from felonies to misdemeanors.  Because the changes made by the new law applied retroactively, incarcerated people serving felony sentences for offenses affected by Proposition 47 were eligible to apply for resentencing to shorten their sentences or to be released outright.  Those who already completed felony sentences for Proposition 47 offenses could also apply to change their criminal records to reflect the reforms.

Critics of Proposition 47 contended it would increase crime by releasing those convicted of dangerous or violent felonies early.  Opponents also suggested that reducing the severity of sentences for certain felonies would fail to deter people from committing crimes or completing court-ordered probation requirements....

Is Proposition 47 to blame for the increases in reported urban crimes?  This report tests this question by comparing changes in crime rates, from January-June 2014 and January-June 2015, in California's 68 largest cities to changes in (a) county jail populations and (b) Proposition 47-related discharges and releases from prison to resentencing counties."

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