Yesterday’s Chron reported on a new Sentencing Project report, examining crime rates in California, New York, and New Jersey. Here are the bits about CA:
From 2006 to 2012, the new report said, California reduced its prison population by 23 percent, from nearly 174,000 to 134,000, while the nationwide inmate count dropped by just 1 percent.
The decline accelerated in October 2011 under a state law implementing Gov. Jerry Brown’s “realignment” program, which sentenced lower-level nonviolent felons to county jail instead of state prison and increased the number of convicts who spent part of their sentences on probation.
The state says it will also comply with court orders stepping up parole of elderly, disabled and low-risk prisoners. A 2012 ballot measure sparing some nonviolent felons from life terms under California’s three-strikes law is further reducing the imprisonment rate.
During the same six-year period, the report said, the rate of violent crime – murder, forcible rape, robbery and assault – fell 21 percent in California, compared with 19 percent nationwide.
. . .
Despite the improvements, the study said, California’s violent crime rate remains above the national average. The state’s property crime rate is slightly below the national average, although the rate of decline from 2006 to 2012 was 13 percent in the state and 15 percent nationwide, the study said.
Another finding was that auto thefts in California have increased since realignment took effect in 2011, bringing the rates for that crime back up to 2009 levels. Overall, however, the study said the prisons-to-jails program does not appear to have increased serious crime in the state.
The original report can be found here.