CA State Lawmakers Have Made Our State Less Safe With
Propositions 47, 57, AB 109
California's Public Safety Realignment initiative was an attempt by the State of California to reduce its state prison population under Federal court order by shifting much of that population to county jails by reducing punishments for crimes of all types, including felonies.
The US Supreme Court on May 23, 2011 required California to reduce its state prison population from roughly 180% to no more than 137.5% of its design capacity within two years because prisoners were unable to receive routine medical or mental health care found that California's prisons constitutes cruel and unusual punishment (Brown v. Plata, 2011).
By 2014 the state had transferred approximately 25,000 prisoners to county facilities, but was still 9,600 prisoners short of the Federal Court requirements. The court granted the state two more years. Proposition 47 was the method used to meet its target prison population
Prop 47: The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act (2014)
Reclassified certain theft and drug possession offenses from felonies to misdemeanors.
Reclassified "non-serious, nonviolent crimes" and created new misdemeanors as long as the total value of the stolen property is under $950
shoplifting, grand theft, vehicular theft, receiving stolen property, forgery, fraud, and writing bad checks
Reclassified drug possession offenses under Health and Safety Code as strictly misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in county jail
It is retroactive
Defendants currently serving sentences for felony offenses that would have qualified as misdemeanors under the proposition to petition courts for resentencing under the new misdemeanor provisions.
Convicted criminals who have completed their sentences for applicable felonies under the proposition may apply to reclassify those convictions to misdemeanors.
Proposition 57: Criminal Sentences. Parole. Juvenile Criminal Proceedings and Sentencing.
The intent of 57 was to grant early release to ‘non-violent’ juvenile offenders, but the initiative never defined which crimes were “non-violent.” This loophole has meant sex traffickers, rapists, abusive spouses and even drive-by shooters of all ages have qualified for early release.
AB 109" The Public Safety Realignment Act.
AB109 changed the definition of a felony in California and reclassified more than 500 felony crimes to transfer prisoners from state prisons to county jails. Additionally, convicted persons will be supervised by county Post Release Community Supervisors instead of by state Parole Agents. Parole violation penalties were changed from a mandatory one year sentence to between 10 days and 180 days.
These measures were supported and funded by the ACLU, Democratic State Central Committee of California, and special interest groups.
WE ARE LESS SAFE
“As Prop. 57 paved the way for early release of hardened felons, AB109 amended more than 500 criminal statutes, reduced penalties for parole violations, and shifted thousands of convicted felons from state prison to county jails. Both have been exacerbated by Prop. 47, which makes it almost impossible to lock up serial offenders for drug and property crimes.”
Major violent crimes in San Jose and Silicon Valley have dramatically increased since the implementation of Proposition 47, 57, and AB109. Californians who own lower value items such as older vehicles are unfairly harmed and targeted because criminals can victimize them without consequences since these offenses are no longer classified as felonies and are not included in major property crime reports.
Statistics reported by the City of San Jose, CA
California Superior Courts have resentenced or reclassified 358,555 convicted felonies to misdemeanors between Nov 2014 and Dec 2018:
MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
REPEAL PROPS 47, 57, & AB-109
We need to repeal the most egregious portions of these laws to swing the pendulum of justice back to center.
Call and email your state assemblymember to support AB-1599: The Repeal Prop 47 Act, which has been proposed in the California Assembly Introduced by Assembly Members Kiley, Gallagher, and Patterson. "This bill would repeal the changes and additions made by Proposition 47, except those related to reducing the penalty for possession of concentrated cannabis. This bill would provide that it would become effective only upon approval of the voters, and would provide for the submission of this measure to the voters for approval at the next statewide general election." For more information, please visit: Bill Text - AB-1599 Proposition 47: repeal. (ca.gov)
We need to encourage lawmakers to generate new bills like AB-1599 to repeal Proposition 57 and AB-109 to make our community safe.