Long Beach, Ca
In 2014, voters in California passed Prop 47, an initiative to reduce certain felony crimes down to misdemeanors. These crimes include according to Ballotpedia:
- Shoplifting, where the value of property stolen does not exceed $950
- Grand theft, where the value of the stolen property does not exceed $950
- Receiving stolen property, where the value of the property does not exceed $950
- Forgery, where the value of forged check, bond or bill does not exceed $950
- Fraud, where the value of the fraudulent check, draft or order does not exceed $950
- Writing a bad check, where the value of the check does not exceed $950
- Personal use of most illegal drugs
Prop 47 released thousands out of California prisons and allowed individuals jailed for the above crimes to be re-sentenced at lower penalties.
Because of Prop 47, many in Long Beach have attributed rising property crimes to Prop 47 and it appears, they might be correct. According to a study at UC Irvine, although Prop 47 didn’t seem to raise crime in aggravated assault, homicide, & rape, it does state that “Increases in property offenses such as larceny and motor vehicle theft appear to show that Prop. 47 was the cause.”
Because of the effects on the state, citizens of California have now decided to take this matter into their own hands. A coalition of crime victims, law enforcement, business owners and public safety leaders are working to pass the Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act of 2018.
The potential proposition seeks to reauthorize felony sentences for some misdemeanors including certain theft crimes where the value is between $250 and $950. It also seeks to change the current standards governing parole decisions. According to the proponents of this measure, the most recently changed standards which govern parole decisions “allowed the early release of dangerous criminals by the law’s failure to define certain crimes as “violent.” They are quick to note that these “changes allowed individuals convicted of sex trafficking of children, rape of an unconscious person, felony assault with a deadly weapon, battery on a police officer or firefighter, and felony domestic violence to be considered “non-violent offenders.”