Has criminal justice reform really reduced crime in California?

Within recent years, California has worked to reduce overcrowding in prisons by releasing thousands and thousands of inmates and reducing penalties for a numerous amount of crimes. 

With the incoming flood of recently released prisoners, new data is being presented that shows whether criminal justice reform is actually making California safer or if the state should go back to its tough ways. 

Proposition 47, which reduced certain drug and property offences down to misdemeanors, was not responsible for the recent upticks in crime throughout California since 2014, according to a UCI study. The fairly new proposition "had no effect on violent crimes, including homicide, rape, aggravated assault and robbery."

Attorney General Xavier Becerra also released a data report Monday that explained the violent crime rate per 100,000 population increased 1.5 percent from 2016-2017 while the property crime rate decreased 2.1 percent.

 “My main takeaway is that criminal justice reform is continuing to advance public safety,” said Lenore Anderson, the founder and executive director of Californians for Safety and Justice, told The New York Times.

The debate will still go on as groups work to get enough signatures for a ballot initiative for 2020 that would reverse some of the reforms. Democratic Assemblyman Jim Cooper is a former sheriff's deputy who is a top supporter of one of the new ballot initiatives and will be on with John and Ken today at 3pm with more information. 

Photo: Getty Images

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