California criminal justice reform is a topic that is of the utmost importance to us at the Law Office of Ronald G. Brower. We work tirelessly to stay apprised of new legislation that can impact our clients; for example, in May we wrote about an effort to upend two bills signed into law that reduced certain felonies to misdemeanors (Prop 47) and made some nonviolent offenders eligible for early release (Prop 57). At the time of the post, the Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act of 2018 was in the signature-gathering phase.
While many people support Proposition 47 and Proposition 57, there are a good many others who feel that the bills favor criminals and jeopardize the safety of citizens. There isn’t much evidence to support the above claims, in fact, the state Department of Justice has data showing that criminal justice reform policies are working. Nevertheless, some cities and counties would like to roll back such reforms.
Last month, the Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act of 2018 received enough signatures to bring the bill up for a statewide vote, according to NBC 4. However, it will be another two years before Californians can vote on the legislation.
Toughening Criminal Penalties Will Have to Wait
Supporters of the Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act had hoped to get the required number of signatures and qualify in time for the 2018 ballot but were unable to do so, according to the article. Advocates of Prop 47 and 57, say that the failure to qualify for a vote this year is indicative of the bill’s lack of support. But, we will have to wait and see how the voters lean in 2020.
If voters approve the legislation in question in 2020, it would mean shortening the list of people eligible for earlier parole, the article reports. It would reclassify the crimes that went from being a felony to misdemeanors, back to felonies again. The bill also seeks to expand the group of crimes that require the collection of DNA samples. It is worth noting that Gov. Jerry Brown opposes the Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act, stating:
“Read the fine print. This flawed initiative would cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars and endanger public safety by restricting parole and undermining inmate rehabilitation.”
Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney
Attorney Ronald G. Brower has more than three decades of experience advocating for clients and generating favorable outcomes in California. If you’re in legal trouble, Attorney Brower can help you achieve the best results possible. Please contact our office to learn more.