We all know Prop 47 – it sought to reduce the prison population by downgrading drug offenses from felonies to misdemeanors and according to a new study from University of California Irvine, it's passage is not responsible for the recent uptick of violence and crime.
From the study:
Research results suggest that the proposition has had no effect on violent crimes, including homicide, rape, aggravated assault and robbery. Increases in property offenses such as larceny and motor vehicle theft appear to show that Prop. 47 was the cause, but the UCI researchers have found that these findings do not withstand more rigorous statistical testing.
Researchers who study the impacts of public policy have difficulty linking particular policies with specific outcomes with confidence, because there’s no way to evaluate what would have happened if the policy hadn’t been implemented. To overcome this hurdle, Kubrin and Bartos applied a cutting-edge statistical method by creating a “synthetic California” to serve as the control group for examining crime rates pre- and post-proposition. They analyzed data from 1970 to 2015 in order to find a combination of states that closely matched California’s crime trends – New York, Nevada, Michigan and New Jersey – but did not experience a similar Prop. 47-style policy change.
Read the full results here