In the 11 months since the passage of Prop 47, more than 4,300 state prisoners have been resentenced and then released. Drug arrests in Los Angeles County have dropped by a third. Jail bookings are down by a quarter.Does America have problems? Yes. Is prison the answer? No. Seriously, if we can't figure out a better solution to mental illness, drug addiction, and vagrant crimes than -- at great expense -- locking losers in cages forever, we're pretty effing stupid!
Robberies up 23 percent in San Francisco. Property theft up 11 percent in Los Angeles. Certain categories of crime rising 20 percent in Lake Tahoe, 36 percent in La Mirada, 22 percent in Chico and 68percent in Desert Hot Springs.
It’s too early to know how much crime can be attributed to Prop 47, police chiefs caution, but what they do know is that instead of arresting criminals and removing them from the streets, their officers have been dealing with the same offenders again and again. Caught in possession of drugs? ... Caught stealing something worth less than $950? That means a ticket, too.
“Frustrating, frustrating,” said Zimmerman, the police chief.... “Just sending our officers to deal with problems that never get solved.”
“Aren’t we lulling him into a sense of security?” Goldsmith said. “How does it end? There’s no more incremental punishment. We let the behavior continue. We let the problems get worse. And all we can do is wait until he does something terrible, until he stabs somebody or kills somebody, and then we can finally take him off the street.”
October 12, 2015
Prop 47 in California
In the Washington Post.