Three years ago, there were some changes made to lessen California’s overpopulation in jails and prisons.
Voters approved Proposition 47, which would loosen law enforcement standards on crime. At the time, it was believed that taking these measures wouldn’t have much impact on crime.
Now, three years later, local law enforcement officials are pointing to that 2014 proposition approval as the reason for the drastic increase in crime in California.
Fox 11 Los Angeles reports that while arrests are down 30 percent since the new law, violent crime is up 40 percent in Los Angeles since Prop 47 went into effect, with many felony crimes downgraded to misdemeanors. That’s pretty significant.
Estimates show that, specifically, the Inland Empire region in California went from 9th in the nation in vehicle thefts to 5th in just a year, from 2015 to 2016.
Riverside police Sgt. Sean Brown noted: “The punishment is very minimal. If nobody goes to jail for committing a crime, what’s to prevent them from committing more crimes?”
Additionally, Ontario police Sgt. Jeff Higbee noted that the laws mean there is “little to no jail time associated with a single theft.”
California Assemblyman Matt Harper further explained that the rise in crime was correlated to the proposition, telling Fox News: “California is certainly having a significant problem with the increase of crime in our state.”
Harper added, “The only thing that’s really showing a difference in terms of how we approach crime and criminals is this change in our law allowing people to be able to go out on the streets, which previously they would have stayed in prison and not be committing crimes. To play these nonviolent offender games [is] a recipe for disaster.”
Those commenting on Fox 11 Los Angeles’ Facebook post about the story had a lot to say, as you’d expect, with comments such as: “You don’t say. Hmmmm I wonder who could have predicted that releasing a bunch of criminals would cause the crime levels to raise…let me think.”
Another person added: “Voters got what they wanted. Didn’t have to be a rocket scientist to see how this was going to play out.”
One commenter just wants things to return to the way they used to be, writing: “Can the douchebags up in Sacramento just admit this was a stupid experiment that proved to be a failure and just go back to business as usual. Putting bad guys where they belong and far away from our families.”
This person didn’t pull any punches, noting: “This state deserves EXACLY what YOU voted for! It’s always ok until something happens to you or someone in you family by one of the dirtbags YOU helped out!” Another person responded: “And to top it all off, it’s still one of the most expensive states to live in. Californians are literally paying a premium to live in those conditions! Maybe smog kills brain cells?”
Along the same lines, this person noted: “Here in California law makers screw us over like crazy. There are props/laws that somehow manage to pass that we as citizens are COMPLETELY against and when we try to fight it it’s as of the most important stuff is put at the bottom of the list.”