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The Impact of Criminal Justice Reform on Our Safety in California

April 8, 2019

Reduced prison sentences have not caused an increase in crime

The Impact of Criminal Justice Reform on Our Safety in California

One of the biggest fears among Californians has been that if the state moves away from its “tough on crime” stance, the crime rate will increase. California has long been known for its harsh laws and sentencing, such as the Three Strikes Law. Yet in recent years, the state has moved away from overly punitive penal laws. Instead, it has enacted a series of criminal justice reforms that are bringing greater equality and fairness to the system, as well as easing the overcrowding in California’s prison system.

A new report from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice demonstrates that this has not led to an increase in crime. In fact, as California has moved away from unnecessarily harsh prison sentences and allowed prisoners to leave prison early, the crime rates across the state have actually fallen. As a criminal attorney Los Angeles, CA explains, this shows the promise of criminal justice reform.

The report shows that the rate of overall violent crime fell by 2% between 2017 and the first half of 2018 in California cities with a population of 100,000 or higher. In these same cities, homicides declined by almost 13%, while assaults decreased by 3.5%. Only one type of property crime — robbery — increased, by 5%.

Overall, this report shows that California’s criminal justice reforms — including policies designed to reduce prison overcrowding — have not had the feared impact of encouraging more crime. Instead, it demonstrates that these new laws may have the opposite effect: reducing crime.

One of the biggest changes in California’s criminal justice system was the passage of Proposition 47 in 2014. This law not only reduced penalties for future offenders, but allowed inmates currently serving prison sentences for certain crimes to be re-sentenced. A skilled criminal attorney Los Angeles, CA can help you determine if you may be eligible for resentencing under this law.

Critics of the criminal justice reforms argued that these types of changes to the law would lead to higher crime rates. Instead, the overall trend has been a reduction in crime, with the state’s largest cities seeing some variation in their individual statistics.

As a criminal attorney Los Angeles, CA can explain, these reforms are beneficial to many Californians who have either been charged with a crime or who are currently serving a sentence. Of course, if you are currently facing criminal charges in California, the best option is to hire an experienced criminal attorney Los Angeles, CA so that you can defend yourself against the charges and potentially avoid the consequences of a criminal conviction.

At the Chambers Law Firm, we are dedicated to working with people who have been accused of crimes. We represent Californians who have been charged with a range of crimes, fiercely advocating for their rights and their freedom. To learn more or to schedule a free initial consultation with a criminal attorney Los Angeles, CA, contact us at 855-397-0210 or dchambers@clfca.com.

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