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Study: California's Proposition 47 Reduced Incarceration, Not Crime

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio
 

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Police have often accused Proposition 47 of contributing to recent upticks in violent crime. But a new Public Policy Institute of California study finds no correlation. Instead, PPIC says a brief spike seems to have begun before Prop. 47 took effect.

One of several criminal justice measures pushed by Gov. Jerry Brown during his second stint in office, Prop. 47 turned many nonviolent felonies into misdemeanors.

PPIC’s Magnus Lofstrom says that realignment, Prop. 47 and 2016’s Proposition 57 together have contributed to 50,000 fewer inmates in California prisons.

“That’s a big drop, about 25 percent,” Lofstrom said. “And yet we haven’t seen very noticeable changes to our crime rates. They’re pretty much where they were in 2009, 2010.”

The report contains one notable exception: It connects a rash of thefts from cars to Prop. 47 — enough of them to have increased total thefts more than 9 percent above other states.

Ben Bradford

Former State Government Reporter

As the State Government Reporter, Ben covered California politics, policy and the interaction between the two. He previously reported on local and state politics, business, energy, and environment for WFAE in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Read Full Bio 

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