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The Push to Imprison California’s Low-Level Offenders

As critics fault Proposition 47 for a spike in crime — which reduced some minor offenses from felonies to misdemeanors — the East Bay Express cites expert criminologists and CJCJ to explain why the claim is problematic. 

Additionally, past research suggests that a reform measure such as Prop 47 is not likely to result in an increase in crime. State and local efforts to decriminalize minor drug offenses, such as marijuana possession, for example, have not resulted in crime upticks. Krisberg said there also have been no meaningful crime increases associated with Governor Jerry Brown’s Public Safety Realignment” initiative, which shifted certain low-level, nonviolent offenders out of state prisons and into the custody of counties with the goal of reducing the prison population. A recent study from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice concluded that since the implementation of realignment in 2011, statewide violent crime and property crime has generally decreased — following the downward crime trend of the past twenty years.

Read the referenced report about Realignment here »