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originally posted by: Kandinsky
A lot of people on ATS make the point that rising incarceration rates in the USA are bad. Some argue something must be the matter to have (by far) the largest prison population in the world. How can the USA have more prisoners than countries we view as considerably more oppressive and corrupt? Anyway yada yada...
The point here is Cali has had a go at changing the system. They've gone down the route (favoured by many ATSers) of making possession of drugs a slap on the wrist offence. Shoplifting isn't a straight-to-prison crime and its links to addiction are being addressed by rehabilitation instead of sentencing. They've tried to move 'victimless crime' to misdemeanour. On top of that, it's possible to appeal to have felonies reduced to misdemeanours once they've served their sentence. Obviously it's dependent on the nature of the crime. The upshot is not being defined as a felon for life over something stupid they did when young.
The savings they hoped to make by not sending someone to prison were funnelled into the community level with literacy programmes and schemes to help people out of poverty. These are the major factors that lead to crime.
Setting aside the right/left (Cali hates Trump etc) political BS, isn't it good to see some place trying to find a way to break the incarceration problem? If it's failed, at least they tried. The next thing is to cut their losses and find a different way or see what parts of Prop 47 worked and focus on them. Three years isn't long enough to change generational problems, but changing stuff every 3-4 years is a quick way to cause problems through confusion. Same in Europe where we switch systems every 3-4 years on political grounds.
The government is to provide the frame work for a civil society through equal and blind enforcement of laws.
In some ways, Proposition 47 has accomplished what it was designed to do. It helped reduce the prison population, allowing the state to comply with a federal court order that found overcrowded prison conditions in California violated constitutional standards.
Nearly 4,700 people have since been re-sentenced and released from state prisons, and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation estimates 3,300 fewer individuals will now be incarcerated each year. The new law also lowered the state’s daily average jail population by about 8,000 people, according to a report from Californians for Safety and Justice.
But Proposition 47 was written in a way that attempted to avoid an unfunded mandate, and three years passed before savings could be calculated and allotted to community and social services, criminal justice advocates and defense lawyers said, causing many former inmates to end up on the streets with no safety net or support system. Law enforcement officials and others have said the measure has allowed offenders to continue breaking laws with little consequence.
Political debate has centered on whether Proposition 47 is causing crime rates to rise in several cities. In some areas, local law enforcement statistics show, street officers are making fewer drug arrests, and police and retailers point to increasing property theft, prompting state legislation this year to propose a ballot measure that would amend parts of the law, making it a felony to steal $950 worth of property in a year. Under Proposition 47, any single theft under $950 in property value is considered a misdemeanor, even for repeat offenders.
With so much at stake, criminal justice groups and community members say they have lobbied, written letters to lawmakers and filled legislative hearings in Sacramento to attempt to counter the negative publicity about the measure and promote a public safety approach that balances prevention with treatment and incarceration.
Their first battle came over calculation of the state’s fiscal savings from Proposition 47. The independent Legislative Analyst’s Office had initially estimated between $150 million and $250 million in annual savings.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s newest budget estimates the savings at $42.9 million after accounting for a temporary increase in the number of parolees and the court workload that comes with resentencing. State officials say they expect to distribute a total of $103 million over the next three years.
“Most Californians today agree that we need a set of investments that provide options beyond prisons, and many of those options work better to stop repeat crime,” said Lenore Anderson, executive director for Californians for Safety and Justice. “That is going to be good for public safety but also good for saving the state money.”
originally posted by: dfnj2015
causing many former inmates to end up on the streets with no safety net or support system.
originally posted by: odzeandennz
meanwhile... Cali's never been more calm... I live in OC
many towns getting the "gentrification" treatment, homicides down (socal), high speed police chases used to be at least 3 a week, now hardly any, petty crimes are down, felonies down, the only rampant felonies are still corruption, money laundering and fraud... check OCregister....
originally posted by: ketsuko
a reply to: Kandinsky
The problem is cultural, but no one wants to address that.
If you try, you are racist because the worst of the cultural rot often centers itself on one or two races even though the problems afflict members of all races.