California is under court order to reduce prison overcrowding and when voters passed Prop 47 in 2014, they were hoping the new measure would alleviate the problem and help save money.
Now, it’s having some very undesirable consequences.
And it’s not just non-violent crimes as several media outlets are reporting. Robberies are up 23 percent San Francisco; violent crimes are up 20 percent in Los Angeles; and in Sacramento, homicides are up 23 percent. Identity theft cases and burglaries are up across the state since the law took effect as well.
Prop 47 reduced certain property crimes and simple drug offenses from felonies to misdemeanors. Supporters say thousands of non-violent felons have been released and given a chance to live lawfully, Fox News reports. The idea was to free up money for services and boost public safety. The law has reportedly saved the state $100 million.
In the meantime, however, frustrated police officers across the state say this makes their jobs tougher – because if perpetrators don’t fear prosecution, they will likely strike again, possibly committing more serious crimes.
Robberies and other property crimes are way up, a recent study showed.
Sylvia Moir, outgoing police chief in El Cerrito says, “Proposition 47 is working if the only thing we’re measuring is how many people are incarcerated…but if you say, ‘is Prop 47 working for communities,’ I would say no, it is not.”
The full effect of the controversial measure on crime rates remains to be seen.
What also remains to be seen is if the money saved will go to fund programs that would help reduce crime.
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