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Rising crime in Long Beach stoking anxieties among police, politicians

Southern California Public Radio (SCPR) asks to CJCJ’s Mike Males to comment on whether or not Proposition 47 has effected crime in Long Beach. 

If they get arrested, they get out of jail and are back on the streets before the officer has completed the report,” said Long Beach Police Deputy Police Chief Rich Rocchi. 

But it’s too early to tell why crime went up, according to Mike Males, researcher at the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, which advocates for reducing reliance on incarceration. 

We want to attribute [good effects to] policies we like and bad effects to policies we don’t like,” Males said. 

California voters have supported multiple initiatives aimed at reducing sentences for lower level crimes, notably Prop 47 which reclassified low-level property and drug crimes from a felony to a misdemeanor. Then there’s AB109, which went into effect in 2011, diverting low-level offenders from prisons to jails, often resulting in less time spent behind bars. The measure also sent millions of dollars previously spent on prisons to local counties to administer.

Read CJCJ’s most recent report studying Realignment’s effect on California crime »