Proposition 47, was labelled the Criminal Sentence / Misdemeanor Penalties Initiative Statute on California ballots back in 2014, but it has been more commonly referred to as the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act. Whatever name you choose to call it, call it a failure. Maybe lawmakers had good intentions but there turns out to be many unfortunate side-effects to Prop. 47 that do anything but keep our neighborhoods and schools safe.
Prop 47 allows for crimes such as shoplifting, forgery, fraud, petty theft and drug possession — including cocaine, heroin, Rohypnol (The date-rape drug) and methamphetamine — to be changed from felonies to misdemeanors. The statute also lowers the jail time for these crimes. In some cases the defendants are simply given a summons to appear in court, which the majority never even appear. In theory it may have sounded like a good idea where non-violent offenders wouldn’t be locked up with the hardened criminals but what if the real bad guys are slipping through the cracks? That’s what’s actually happening unfortunately.
Deputy District Attorney Marc Debbaudt says a new study shows, because of Prop. 47, more criminals are on the street.
Last year, there was a 31 percent drop in bookings for property crime and 68 percent fewer bookings for drug offenses, according to the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).
Why? Debbaudt says, if there’s no punishment, law enforcement has no reason to arrest them.
“They have no motivation since nothing is being done to these people,” he said. “In fact, they are committing crimes with virtual impunity because there are no consequences.”
Another study shows violent crime has increased 54 percent last year and property crime is up by 145 percent, also according to the PPIC.
Criminals that are on the streets instead of in jail in addition to police hesitant to make arrests presents a dangerous situation for our local neighborhoods. For more info about the bail process feel free to call one of licensed agents today. We are standing by 24/7 to help you and your loved ones.