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In this issue:

  • Is Prop. 47 to Blame for California’s 2015 Increase in Urban Crime? 
  • California Sentencing Institute now includes 2013 data
  • CJCJ’s Matt Snope presents on unemployment after incarceration
Is Prop. 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

A new research report by CJCJ’s Mike Males examines the effects of Prop. 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 the policy’s impact on crime. 

Prop. 47, passed in November 2014, reduced certain nonviolent, non-serious offenses from felonies to misdemeanors, and applied retroactively, thus shortening sentences and releasing incarcerated people outright. Between November 2014 and December 2015, state prisons released a total of 4,533 people to the counties as a result of Prop. 47; and between November 2014 and March 2015, the total county jail population decreased by approximately 9,000 people. 

According to CJCJ’s report, crime in California’s largest cities generally increased, with the exception of a drop in homicide rates and no change in burglary. However, the general increase in urban crime did not correlate with decreases in county jail populations or Prop. 47-related prison discharges/​releases.

Read the full report here »

California Sentencing Institute now includes 2013 data CJCJ’s interactive map update now shows 5‑year trends for county justice practices and statewide geographical disparities

This month, CJCJ released 2013 data for its California Sentencing Institute (CASI) criminal and juvenile justice trends map. The interactive map now shows annual criminal and juvenile statistics for the years 2009 through 2013, as well as county-by-county visual comparisons illustrating law enforcement practices and incarceration rates. 

Given the shift in criminal justice policies stemming from Public Safety Realignment in 2011 and juvenile justice realignment in 2007, the CASI map provides a useful visual tool for understanding and monitoring how counties implement statewide policy changes. 

Visit the California Sentencing Institute (CASI) »

CJCJ’s Matt Snope presents on unemployment after incarceration The San Francisco Training Partnership case manager highlights employment needs of formerly incarcerated people

On March 17th, San Francisco Training Partnership (SFTP) Program Case Manager, Matt Snope, addressed the Leadership San Francisco conference on the importance of employment as both a recidivism reduction strategy and a way to reduce the city’s income inequality. 

Through SFTP, Matt connects CJCJ clients to employment training services, such as counseling, vocational training, job search workshops, interviewing practice, and job placement. He also provides one-on-one support and practical assistance that enables clients to secure and maintain employment or pursue educational opportunities.

At Leadership San Francisco, Matt discussed how the stigma of a criminal record can hinder formerly incarcerated men and women from acquiring work. This is problematic, he says, because if formerly incarcerated people are able to get a foothold in the economy, that really helps stop the cycle of incarceration.”

The stated goal of Leadership San Francisco is to explore ways to work for the common good, so Matt suggested that Bay Area employers move the consideration of a criminal record to the end of the hiring process. Regardless of where people gained their skills, those assets can be valuable to employers. If you’re going to be instrumental in shaping the future of San Francisco, please give someone with a record a chance because that is the only way to change the stigma.”

Find out more about SFTP and other CJCJ services »