Proposed ballot initiative would roll back recent criminal justice reforms

Citing an increase in violent crime rates, a coalition of law enforcement and victim’s rights groups announced last week a proposed ballot initiative that would partly roll back recent criminal justice reforms.  

Calling itself the California Public Safety Partnership, the group includes Assemblyman Jim Cooper, D-Elk Grove, and Sacramento County District Attorney Anne-Marie Schubert. “These reforms make sure that truly violent criminals stay in jail and don’t get out early,” Schubert told the L.A. Times.

California voters in recent years have rolled back some of the state’s tougher criminal justice laws.

In 2014, Proposition 47 downgraded various nonviolent crimes – such as certain drug offenses and property crimes – from felonies to misdemeanors. The money saved was allocated to crime-prevention programs such as mental health and truancy prevention.

Proposition 57, passed in 2016, allowed those convicted of nonviolent felonies to apply for early parole, in addition to allowing certain inmates to earn credits toward release by participating in rehabilitation programs. These inmates still must go before the parole board.

Both ballot measures passed by comfortable margins.

The proposed initiative would expand the collection of DNA samples to seven misdemeanors that were felonies prior to Prop. 47’s implementation. Currently, DNA is collected only for felonies.

The initiative also makes serial theft – stealing more than $250 or the equivalent after two previous similar convictions – a felony. Under Prop. 47, the current threshold for felonies in cases of theft is $950.

While the measure’s sponsors cite “serious problems being caused by recent criminal justice reforms,” it’s unclear the effect Props. 47 and 57 have had on crime. Violent crime rates for 2016 are up 4.1 percent from 2015, but they are still well below the peak of violent crime rates in 1992, according to the 2016 California Crime Reports. Meanwhile, property crime was down 2.9 percent

The ballot measure’s proponents must obtain 365,880 signatures by the end of April 2018 to qualify for the November 2018 ballot.


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  1. Ulyssess Uhaul
    Ulyssess Uhaul 6 November, 2017, 10:03

    We are adding some rusted, gruesome looking Knights of Templar style surprise constraint goodies to our rental yard perimeter defenses………

    You never can have enough security deterrents to serve our high expectation and stressed doomer customers!

    November specials include Myramar twine and that preferred traditional Chinese packing tape as throw ins for buying a minimum of 73 Sri Lanka moving boxes……free coffee as usual in our comfort bunker awaiting your final hookup.

    Reply this comment
  2. Standing Fast
    Standing Fast 6 November, 2017, 12:09

    Anyone who believes crime in California is down has not been paying attention. The statistics cited by proponents of Props 47, 57 & AB-109 need a Reality Check.

    Taking money away from incarcerating criminals to fund mental health and truancy programs is not a savings to taxpayers. Releasing criminals early does not protect the public from violent crimes, because many who were convicted of non-violent crimes will commit violent crimes if given the opportunity.

    And, if you reclassify crimes so they are not equivalent categories from one decade to the next, you cannot make a realistic comparison.

    The proposed ballot measure is a step in the right direction, but it looks to me like a sieve.

    Sorry. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    Reply this comment
  3. eck
    eck 6 November, 2017, 18:35

    Let’d do it! These “non-violent” criminals affect many of us. They need to be kept away (in prison!) You want to be robbed again by this guy? I’m OK with drug law offenders getting a break (as long as they didn’t commit other crimes).

    Reply this comment
  4. eck
    eck 6 November, 2017, 18:40

    Sign the initiative whenever you find it. Encourage others to. Try and reverse the insanity perverse in Sacramento.

    Reply this comment
  5. blak
    blak 6 November, 2017, 20:37

    And just today an LAPD police captain filed a lawsuit related to this:
    “Capt. Lillian Carranza, who oversees the LAPD’s Van Nuys station, filed a damages claim against the city last week and said she plans to move ahead with a whistleblower lawsuit. She contends she was denied a promotion because she pointed out discrepancies in crime reports.

    “This piece of deception was done specifically to fool the public and elected officials as to the true state of crime in the city of Los Angeles,” Carranza said at a news conference at her attorney’s Beverly Hills office. “The department then engaged in a highly complex and elaborate cover-up in an attempt to hide the fact that command officers had been providing false figures to the public, attempting to convince the public that crime had not significantly increased.””

    LAPD has already been found to have been doctoring crime stats for years (just google for the articles the last couple of years) and this police captain claims they are still doing it and they punished her for trying to fix it.

    Reply this comment
    • Standing Fast
      Standing Fast 7 November, 2017, 10:11

      Yup. Yup-yup. Yup-yup-yup. Now is the time for all good citizens to contact their local and state reps to educate them about the meaning of “Transparency in Government”.

      If you haven’t done this already, make a list of the offices and officeholders from City Council to the Governor, their contact information, and the name(s) of at least one of their assistants. Contact your reps in any or all of the following ways, and always follow-up your contact with a letter or email conforming what you spoke about and ask for a reply.

      U.S. Mail (formal letter with all your contact information)
      Visit to their office
      Public comment during public meeting

      A visit to the office of a State legislator is probably the most effective way to make inroads. They rarely see their constituents while in Sacramento. You can go to their office without an appointment and if they aren’t real busy they might actually invite you in for a chat. If not, you might get to talk to their aide. If not, just leave your name and say you stopped by to pay them a call, leave your name & contact information AND the issue you wanted to speak with them about. Whatever happens, follow-up with a letter.

      If you have not set foot in the Old State Capitol Building, you haven’t lived. It is beautiful. Plan your next vacation around a trip to Sacramento. Save up your money and stay in a nice hotel within walking distance. Take the tour, or give yourself a cook’s tour of the place. Check out both legislative chambers. If the Legislature is in session, stick around and see the show. if it isn’t the galleries are a nice quiet place to sit and meditate on the meaning of the California Senate Motto:


      No matter how bad things get, one individual can make a difference. And whatever you do, always take the high road and never do anything that would bring shame on the cause of Liberty.

      Reply this comment
  6. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 8 November, 2017, 08:24

    Lets get back to punishing crinimals not their victims

    Reply this comment
    • Standing Fast
      Standing Fast 8 November, 2017, 08:44

      What a concept!

      Reply this comment
      • T T Ted Tedly Essence of the Ted Unit
        T T Ted Tedly Essence of the Ted Unit 9 November, 2017, 07:56

        I hate to agree with the Plover— but, alas, I must—–

        Reply this comment
        • Standing Fast
          Standing Fast 9 November, 2017, 09:11

          Yes, me too.

          I do not believe taxpayers should be involved attempting to “rehabilitate” criminals. That is for private non-profit organizations and individuals.

          We have a friend who worked as a prison guard in a maximum-security prison. He told us what it was like there. I don’t think these type of individuals can be rehabilitated.

          Criminals that are sent to other facilities are less dangerous, but that doesn’t mean they are looking to go straight. If you ask them, most all will claim they are innocent. Uh-huh. They belong there, and if they want to go straight there is nothing to stop them–taxpayers do not need to be involved, nor ought we think they should be let out early because they behave themselves. If individuals or private non-profits or churches want to minister to them, that is fine with me.

          For a sizable percentage of criminals, prison is a place where you get a room, a bath, three square meals a day, exercise, activities, television, and an opportunity to learn new ways to break the law. This cannot be helped if we worry more about prison-crowding than we do about the harm these people inflict on society.

          Do you think I care if someone convicted of murder, rape, kidnapping, attempted murder, armed robbery, grand theft, shoplifting, fraud, counterfeiting, embezzlement, or other crimes, is unhappy about prison conditions? Give me a break–that ought to be part of the punishment.

          And no, I don’t think that coming from a disadvantaged home is an excuse for anything. More people who had hardships as children become law-aiding citizens when they grow up than don’t.
          As my grandmother used to say, poverty is no excuse.

          Reply this comment
  7. Abi
    Abi 3 December, 2017, 11:16

    Initiatives like Prop. 47 made and kept shoplifting a misdemeanor. This is the way it should be – people shouldn’t go to our overcrowded prisons just for a non-violent low level crime like shoplifting.

    This new measure is trying to sneak in a rollback of a good law along with the grandstanding cause of expanding our list of violent crimes.

    Prop. 47 should remain as it is.

    I am against this measure. We need prison and criminal reform not harsher penalties. In other countries such as in Scandinavia penalties for crimes are much lower than ours and yet they have much lower crime rates,

    This measure – must fail.

    Reply this comment
    • Standing Fast
      Standing Fast 4 December, 2017, 14:14

      It may come as a shock to some, but North America is not in Scandinavia. And, shoplifting is not an inconsequential crime–its effects on society are far-reaching.

      Shoplifting hurts poor people and shopkeepers the most.

      If the problem continues, merchants must increase prices to consumers to offset their losses. They have to increase security which costs money. An effective security system is very expensive. That causes inflation, which everyone knows is hardest on those whose incomes are smallest.

      Also, if you think victims of property crimes feel they have not suffered violence then you are mistaken. That applies to sole proprietors, small companies, large companies, corporations of all sizes. It applies to for-profit and non-profit operations.

      The prison reform I would like to see is either we build more prisons and keep them all locked up for the duration of their sentences or pack them in like sardines.

      Talk to the victims of the crimes before you vote.

      Reply this comment
  8. Abi
    Abi 5 December, 2017, 00:16

    Wow you sound like a cretin with that lock ’em up attitude. Anyway, the vast majority of California approved Prop. 47 and it is the law of the land.

    Reply this comment

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