FBI Statistics Show
 "The Experiment" Has Failed

By ALADS Board of Directors
When Realignment was introduced, it was described as one of the " great experiments in American incarceration policy ."   Unfortunately, the guinea pigs in this experiment were not the inmates released from the state prisons, but the residents of California who lives and property were purposely put at risk.  That change was followed in short order by Proposition 47 , which not only led to the release of prison inmates but reduced former felony drug and theft crimes to misdemeanors.  While law enforcement warned crime rates would increase if Proposition 47 passed, voters fell for an initiative duplicitously labeled "The Safe Neighborhood and Schools Act."

After the passage of Proposition 47, our deputies and law enforcement across the state saw an increase in crime.  Law enforcement leaders who attempted to inform the public of increase in crime due to Proposition 47 were shouted down.  For example, when Sheriff Jim McDonnell was interviewed by the LA Times in a series of videos entitled "Thanks to Prop. 47, Californians are less safe than they were a year ago," some people claimed the Sheriff was " spreading disinformation " and such claims were " rhetoric " that was not supported by "data."

Well, now we have the " data " the some claimed was missing-and it proves the point Sheriff McDonnell had been making.  As detailed in a release from the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank, FBI statistics released last month documenting nationwide reported crime rates for cities with populations over 100,000 for January-June, 2015 showed California suffered a drastic increase in crime rates in both the violent and property categories.

In the violent crime category, California had 3 cities in the top 5, and 5 of the top 10, for increases in violent crime rates. The grim news didn't stop with the "top 10." 49 of 66 California cities in the report had increases in violent crime rates; 34 of those cities saw the violent crime rate increase by double digits.

It was even worse in the property crime category.  California took the first 3 spots for increases in property crime rates, and 5 of the first 10.  48 of the 66 California cities saw an increase in their property crime rates, with 24 seeing the rate rise by double digits.  In a blog by the Public Policy Institute of California , the authors noted the property crime rate increase was "widespread and not trivial in magnitude." Of particular note, wrote the PPIC, was that that large cities in the next four largest states (Florida, Texas, New York and Illinois) saw decreases in property crime.

Another misleading claim about Proposition 47 and Realignment was that there would be a cost savings as a result of those laws.  In truth, the cost of crime was merely shifted from the state to crime victims and local jurisdictions.  Thus, while a report proudly touted a savings to the State of California of $128 million, it did not set a dollar amount due to this burden shifting-which is enormous.  For example, in Los Angeles County, (we examined cities in LA County that were in the FBI report) and calculated the " cost of crime " using widely accepted Rand Corporation cost method first introduced by New York City Police Commissioner and former LAPD Chief William Bratton. The result- a cost of crime of over $249 million for just six months of 2015 (and only including cities with a population in excess of 100,000.)

The sobering numbers above vividly prove that we cannot afford, both in the fiscal and public safety sense, yet another "experiment" with public safety.  We will continue to educate the public on the true cost of the crime experiments now underway, as an educated public is the surest way to defeat new proposals that would cut the amount of time felons serve in prison

The Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs (ALADS) is the collective bargaining agent and represents more than 8,200 deputy sheriffs and district attorney investigators working in Los Angeles County. To contact the directors, click here.

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