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Prop 47 and Crime Rise

Prop 47 and Crime Rise

Proposition 47 was a ballot initiative that was passed in November of 2014 which changes the sentencing for certain non-violent crimes.

The reception since has been varied. Some argue that there has been no affect on crime rates, while others claim rising crime rates cannot be ignored when weighing the proposition’s effect.

prop 47

Tracking Prop 47

Proposition 47 co-author Mike Romano says, “Proposition 47 on crime rates is very difficult to figure out in the course of a year” for many reasons. He explains that the time it takes to try a case is around a year, therefore most repeals have not yet happened, and that crime is going up around the country and that is not influenced by prop 47. Furthermore, he explains “of the folks who have been released under Proposition 47 over the past year, very few have been returned to prison.”

The Public Policy Institute of California clarifies the amount of individuals released from incarceration: “the prison population dropped by almost 5,000, to about 131,200 (or 340 inmates per 100,000 residents)” in the proposition’s first 4 months.

Lizzie Buchen with the Center on Criminal and Juvenile Justice claims that there is no correlation between the amount of citizens incarcerated and crime rates: “Crime is a result of so many different things. And you don’t see that the more people you incarcerate the fewer crimes you have.”

Crime Rise

“Although headlines suggesting a coming crime wave make good copy, a look at the available data shows there is no evidence to support that trend,” The Brennan Center for Justice revealed in a research study that estimated a drop in crime of 1.5% between 2014 and 2015 based on data gathered from the country’s largest cities.

The Major City Police Chiefs Association executive director Darrel Stephens doesn’t disagree with The Brennan Center for Justice’s report, but reveals his skepticism about the results: “it seems more than a coincidence that this many cities are experiencing these changes in the same year.”


What conclusions can we draw from this information?

Our greatest conclusion is illustrated by the American Civil Liberties Union of California’s statement: “The fact is that it’s way too early to assess 2015 crime rates in California at all, let alone potential causes.”

What we do know is that keeping our communities safe is as complicated as crime rates, but to reduce crime, PredPol helps direct patrol and allows insight that enhances our partners’ community policing efforts. 



Barba, Michael. “Report: Inmates Released under Prop. 47 Not Causing Crime Spike.” SF Examiner. N.p., 06 Nov. 2015. Web. <>.

Hess, Jeffery. “Six Months After Prop 47, Has Crime Gone Up?” Valley Public Radio. N.p., 30 June 2015. Web. <>.

Greenhut, Steven. “Did Prop. 47 Cause State Crime Boost?” The San Diego Union-Tribune. N.p., 30 Nov. 2015. <>.

“PPIC Report Finds Realignment Leads to an Increase in Auto Theft But Not in Violent Crime.” Sierra Sun Times. N.p., 21 May 2015. Web. <>.

Proposition 47: What You Need to Know. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Web. <>.

Schuppe, Jon. “Don’t Blame ‘Ferguson Effect’ for Crime Spikes.” NBC News. N.p., 27 Nov. 2015. Web. 2015. <>.

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