Prop 47 Is Failing California

Prop 47 was passed almost three years ago, but it has yet to bring the changes that it promised.

The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act, better known as Proposition 47, keeps low-level, offenders out of the jails by reclassifying certain crimes as misdemeanors.  To this point, the law has saved $103 million, which will be allocated to many California cities for related programs.

The law changes six nonviolent felonies to misdemeanors, in an attempt to save money by jailing fewer people.  Furthermore, it produces funds for school truancy prevention, school dropout rate reduction, victim services, and mental health and substance abuse treatment.

Sounds like a bill full of positives, doesn't it?

Well, many say the bill has removed accountability from the legal system.  People are no longer afraid to break the law because they are not afraid of the repercussions.

 Robert Sass is the vice president for the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs.

He said, "Prop. 47 has not only sacrificed law-abiding residents, but it also has yet to deliver on its intended goal of changing the behavior of drug addicts and thieves."

He continued, "Drug courts across the state collapsed when incarceration was removed as a consequence of not enrolling and completing a drug treatment program.  Releasing thieves to commit more crimes and allowing drug offenders to roam freely in the community without mandating and imposing treatment does absolutely nothing to diminish criminal behavior. It increases crime, and it is simply reckless.”

Mary Clare Molidor is the chief of the L.A. City Attorney’s Office’s criminal and special litigation branch.

She noted last week that drug treatment enrollment “has just plummeted.”

So, as much as the law was designed to save money and help those in need, the very obvious negatives are far outweighing the positives.

Read the full story at Los Angeles Daily News

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