Common Sense Drives Efforts to Limit the Harm Caused By "Criminal Justice Reform"

by ALADS Board of Directors
In the wake of measures such as AB 109 and Prop 47, we have highlighted that the violent crime and  property crime rates have risen in California while falling in other states. Proponents of these measures have pushed back in various ways, from denying a link between those measures to claiming that if crime is rising it " isn't as bad as it used to be." The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board joins the excuse parade, labeling those who seek changes to the measures as being driven by "emotion rather than fact."
 
The murder of Whittier Police Officer Keith Boyer, whose killer was free on the streets because of the limited sanction measures invented by AB 109, has led to legislation such as AB 1408. That bill seeks to ensure probation departments know the full criminal history of the parolees they supervise and limits when "intermediate sanctions" such as 10-day "flash incarcerations" can be imposed for parole violators. AB 1408 was just approved 78-0 by the State Senate and is on its way to the governor. Calls for changes are occurring on other levels, whether it be the League of California Cities considering various measures or the L.A. County Blue Ribbon Commission on Public Safety, which will examine how various criminal justice "reform" measures have affected the county.
 
The Times' long-winded attack is full of fact free claims, such as the assertion local probation departments are best suited to supervise and sanction parole violators. We have to wonder if the Times looked at the L.A. County Probation Department's " Most Wanted" list. The list is chock full of parole absconders who the department notes AB 109 forces it to try to locate and then supervise.
 
The murders of Officer Boyer and Sacramento County Deputy Sheriff Robert French at the hands of parolees, supervised by probation departments and free on the streets thanks to AB 109's changes in parole, prove the falsity of the Times' statement.
 
The recent "reform" measures have one common goal; to reduce, if not eliminate, jail or prison as a sanction for criminally victimizing others. Proponents of these measures know that the public would not accept them if the blunt truth were the sales pitch, which is why these measures were sold to the public with deliberately misleading statements on who and what they affected. 
 
It is simply common sense, not emotion, which drives our efforts and those of others to propose changes which will reverse the harm caused by these measures. 

The Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs (ALADS) is the collective bargaining agent representing more than 7,900 deputy sheriffs and district attorney investigators working in Los Angeles County. Like our Facebook page

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