In 2014 voters in California passed the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act, also known as Proposition 47. This issue has been watched closely by law enforcement, bail bonds agencies, and the community. Enacted to redefine certain non-violent crimes and keep some people out of jail, it lowered multiple crime classifications, such as shoplifting, drug possession, and certain cases of fraud from felonies to misdemeanors. Furthermore, it limited this reduction to crimes below $950, and is not supposed to include sex crimes and or violence.
While intended to help low-level offenders, and specifically drug addicts, and garnering the support of celebrities from Newt Gingrich to Jay Z, some think it may not be as promised. One common complaint isn’t about narcotics specifically, but the crimes that people commit to get them. That is to say, the leniency shown to petty theft, fraud, etc, is encouraging this behavior, as there are little to no consequences. Another argument says that Prop. 47 is making it more difficult to get these drug offenders into treatment; they are being enabled. Instead of facing jail time if not electing drug treatment, they face tickets and fines, which is said to be much less of a deterrent.
Whether or not it is due to Proposition 47, California is seeing some alarming statistics. In Los Angeles alone, crime is up across the boards; property crimes are up almost 11%, assaults and robberies are up over 20%. Los Angels Mayor, Eric Garcetti stated to the LA Times, that the increases may be related to Prop 47. San Francisco is reporting similar statistics, where car break-ins are up nearly 50% and car theft is up 17%.
Opponents are saying that a revolving door of offenses has been created through this measure. Where an individual is stopped and ticketed, in lieu of arrested, never shows up for court, only to be ticketed upon the next similar encounter. While proponents say this helps more people avoid becoming perpetual victims of the system, is it at the expense of the larger community and population base? This Los Angeles bail bonds company wants to know what you think? Tell us on: Facebook and Twitter.
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October 27, 2015 / Ryan Serey