California Proposition 47 reduced certain felonies to misdemeanors with the aim of shorter prison sentences for less severe offenses and more extended stays for more severe crimes. The hope is to reduce the state’s prison population, and there is little evidence to support an idea that Prop 47 emboldens criminals, as some people suggest. The legislation is one of a handful of bills passed and signed into law in recent years focusing on criminal justice reform. As is always the case with measures that take a softer approach to punishment, opponents abound.
Proposition 57 is in the same vein; the essential goal of the legislation is to make specific nonviolent offenders eligible for early release. Like Prop 47, the aim of Prop 57 is to reduce the number of inmates serving time in jails and prisons across the state. The two measures have many critics even though there isn’t much data to say that either bill has put the general public in harm’s way. Some lawmakers hope to garner enough public support to get legislation on the ballot this November that would make some changes.
Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act of 2018
This past January, Secretary of State Alex Padilla authorized the signature gathering phase of Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act of 2018, The Signal reports. The Santa Clarita City Council has announced plans to support the legislation formally. The measure targets explicitly criminal justice reform laws passed in recent years; the language of the initiative makes it very clear, “fix three related problems created by recent laws that have threatened the public safety of Californians and their children from violent criminals.”
This measure will:
- Reform the parole system so violent felons are not released early from prison, strengthen oversight of post release community supervision and tighten penalties for violations of terms of post release community supervision.
- Reform theft laws to restore accountability for serial thieves and organized theft rings.
- Expand DNA collection from persons convicted of drug, theft and domestic violence related crimes to help solve violent crimes and exonerate the innocent.
“As elected representatives throughout the state of California and the country, if we did not do all we can to protect our citizens, why are we even in office?” said Santa Clarita City Councilman Bob Kellar.
Santa Clarita officials are not the only ones in support of Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act of 2018. Lodi City Council Assemblyman Jim Cooper is on board as well, according to the Lodi News-Sentinel. Cooper claims that Prop 47 has led to fewer DNA samples collected and that makes it harder for law enforcement to do their job.
“Since 2014 [when Prop 47 became law], we’ve gotten about 4,000 less cold case DNA hits — that’s about 400 less murders and rapes we’re solving right now and that’s per the California Department of Justice that backs up these numbers,” Cooper said.
The initiative requires about 367,000 signatures to qualify for the ballot.
Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are facing criminal charges, please contact The Law Office of Ronald G. Brower. With over 30 years of experience, attorney Brower can give you the best chance of finding a favorable outcome.