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New Report! Is Proposition 47 to Blame for California's 2015 Increase in Urban Crime?

CJCJ’s new report shows that no conclusions can be drawn about Prop. 47’s effect on crime at this time.

Santa Ana jail | wikimedia.org

A new research report by CJCJ’s Mike Males examines the effects of Proposition 47 on crime in California. By comparing recently released FBI crime data for California’s 68 largest cities to prison discharges/releases as a result of Prop. 47 and overall county jail population decreases, the report finds it is too early to conclusively determine whether or not Prop. 47 has had an impact on crime.

Prop. 47, passed in November 2014, reduced certain nonviolent, non-serious offenses from felonies to misdemeanors. It was also retroactive, allowing incarcerated people serving felony sentences for certain drug and property offenses to shorten their sentences or to be released outright. Critics of the proposition contended it would increase crime by releasing those convicted of dangerous offenses early, and that reduced sentences would fail to deter people from committing crimes.

According to CJCJ’s report:

There are no obvious effects associated with Prop. 47 that would be expected if the reform measure had produced a consistent impact on crime, and it is too early to conclusively measure the effects of Proposition 47 on crime rates just one year after the law took effect.

Read the full report here >>

For more information about this topic or to schedule an interview, please contact CJCJ Communications at (415) 621-5661 x 121 or cjcjmedia@cjcj.org.


An earlier version of this report stated that California’s jail population dropped by about 9,000 between November 2014 and March 2015. The correct time period for this decrease was between October 2014 and March 2015.


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