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Realignment and Crime in 2014: California's Violent Crime in Decline

2014 Crime Rates Drop to Below Pre-Realignment Levels

CJCJ's new report analyzes the increased Realigned population’s effect on county crime – shows no relationship.

new report from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice examines the impact of Public Safety Realignment on county crime given newly produced 2014 data. CJCJ finds no causal relationship between Realignment and changes in rates of reported Part I offenses.

  • Since Realignment was implemented in 2011, statewide violent crime and property crime have generally decreased. This decline seems to be a continuation of the downward crime trend of the past two decades that has not demonstrably been affected by Realignment.
  • Almost all counties experienced a decrease in their rates of state prison commitments for non-violent offenses in 2013 versus 2010. However, these declines showed no correlation with changes in crime rates in individual counties in 2014 versus 2010. For example, Orange County’s rate of non-violent prison admissions decreased by 53 percent along with substantial reductions in crime, while adjacent Riverside County saw a 30 percent decrease in non-violent prison admission rates along with less favorable crime trends.
  • Trends in motor vehicle theft, which some researchers have connected to Realignment, were highly erratic among individual counties (for example, down 35 percent in Fresno County; up 102 percent in Shasta County). No correlations between Realignment and motor vehicle theft were apparent.

This report builds on CJCJ's previous county-level analyses finding that no definitive conclusions can be drawn about the impact, if any, of Realignment on crime at this time. Instead, this report highlights nine “model counties” that have shown uniquely large decreases in reliance on state prisons alongside uniquely large reductions in property, violent, and total crime. Policymakers should study the measures taken in these nine counties to better implement effective and safe statewide decarceration strategies.

Read the full report: Realignment and Crime in 2014: California’s Violent Crime in Decline >>

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

Keywords: crime trends, Mike Males, Realignment

Posted in Publications, Realignment

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