Prop 47 Linked To Property Crime Increase, But Not Violent Crimes

A state measure that reduced penalties for some property and drug crimes isn't leading to a rise in violent crime.  Magnus Lofstrom with the Public Policy Institute of California said they looked into what kind of an impact Proposition 47 had on crime.

"What we do see here, larcenies, which is a type of property crime, did go up as a result of the proposition, and this was driven by an increase in theft of motor vehicles," said Lofstrom. 

Proposition 47 was passed by voters in 2014 in an effort to reduce incarceration and overcrowding in prison.  While experts say there has been an uptick violent crime rate between 2014 and 2016, the trend up had already begun before November 2014 and was largely due to unrelated changes how crime stats were reported. Through the end of 2016, prison and jail populations across the state has dropped by more than 15,000 inmates.  

The incarceration rate is also at levels not seen in California since the early 1990s.  One of the goals of Proposition 47 was to lower the state's high recidivism rates. 

"Re-arrests and the re-conviction rates have gone down somewhat," Lofstrom said. "This is in part due to to police making fewer arrests and as well as district attorneys prosecuting fewer cases."

Re-arrest rates have since fallen by nearly two-percent while reconviction rates have fallen more than three-percent.

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