California voters approved Prop 47 three years ago as a way to save money by keeping "low-level offenders" out of jail. So far, $103 million has been saved and will be distributed to two dozen cities and counties for related programs.
The problem with Prop 47 is that it puts the law abiding public at risk, while criminals use it to their advantage to commit more crime.
Prop 47 emboldens criminals. The bill was given a very nutty name, the "Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act." What kind of twisted name is that?!
It allows six "nonviolent felonies," such as simple drug possession or petty theft under $950, to be changed to misdemeanors on old criminal records.
The idea is that by jailing fewer people, the state can save money and give it to schools for truancy prevention, dropout rate reduction, victim services, mental health, and substance abuse treatment.
Right now more than 500,000 people in L.A. County are eligible have their felonies reduced to misdemeanors under Prop 47.
Robert Sass, vice president for the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, pointed out the the LA Daily News that all Prop 47 does is make things easier for criminals:
“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. 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.”
Click here to read more about the effects of Prop 47 at the LA Daily News.