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Prop. 47 Has Not Caused a Rise in Crime, Says Stanford Study

Many law enforcement officers have blamed a rise in crime in many California counties on Proposition 47, which allowed thousands of inmates convicted of certain non-violent felony crimes to be eligible for a reduction in charges and an early release. A study by Stanford Law School, however, disagrees that the inmates that have been released are to blame.

For example, in San Francisco, only 20 inmates were released after they were deemed not to be a threat to public safety. These individuals had previously been convicted of now-misdemeanor crimes including non-violent thefts or simple drug possession. According to the San Francisco Police Department, the city is now facing a rise in auto and home burglaries, neither of which have been affected by Prop. 47 and which are still considered felony crimes.

The Stanford study has found that so far, out of the 4,454 individuals released under Proposition 47, only 159 have been arrested for new crimes. While they agree that the long-term effects of Prop. 47 remain to be seen, they have concluded that it is highly unlikely that the crime spike was caused by releasing people whose crimes are now considered misdemeanors. According to District Attorney George Gascon, who co-authored the measure, it must be remembered that crime trends are always shifting. Other parts of the country are also experiencing spikes in crime, and they certainly are not affected by Prop. 47.

Since the enactment of the law over one year ago, California is slated to save an excess of $150 million on prison spending this year, which can then be applied to mental health services by the middle of next year. According to the study, not only has the law saved the state money, but it will also mean that there will be over 3,000 less incarcerations per year.

Questions About Proposition 47? Call Us Today

At the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc., our Orange Country criminal defense lawyers stand ready to assist California residents with questions and concerns about Proposition 47. If you are wondering whether you or a loved one are eligible for reductions or resentencing, please call our office today to learn how we can help. Speak with an attorney today about your case by calling (866) 902-6880.