Opponents of Initiative Substitute Misleading Statements and Insults for Arguments

by ALADS Board of Directors
An op/ed penned recently by George Eskin attacked ALADS and others who are seeking to repair some of the damage done by Propositions 47 and 57 by placing the " Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act of 2018 " on the November 2018 ballot. It is ironic that his piece, claiming the initiative proponents are misleading the public, was filled with deceptive and false claims.
While Eskin claims that passage of Prop 47 in 2014 did not cause an increase in crime, the facts are that before passage of Prop 47, the property crime rate in California had been decreasing the previous three years. Final year statistics show the property crime rate rose in California in 2015 and 2016, while during those same years, all other states in the United States saw property crime rates decrease year over year. In fact, a study examining 2015 that was referenced by Eskin, stated "Prop 47 did have an impact" and "the larceny effect appears significant."
How significant was this larceny rate increase? The 2015 larceny rate in California soared 10.7% from 2014 to 2015 while falling 3.4% across the United States.  While Eskin touted reduced incarceration "saving" $100 million since the passage of Prop 47 four years ago, he entirely ignored the real and measurable cost on residents and businesses from the cost of increased crime. Using the highly respected Rand Corporation Cost of Crime calculator , the cost of the increased larceny rate from 2014 to 2015 exceeded $150 million. Put another way, the cost of one year of increased thefts after Prop 47 exceeds the entirety of "savings" from reduced incarceration in the four years following Prop 47's passage.
Eskin who is a retired judge, uses phrases identical to an op/ed written in another paper by Thomas Parker and makes deliberately false statements in his piece. For example, when he writes, "Among other lies, they claim that violent criminals are being released into our communities automatically under Prop 57. Nothing could be further from the truth. No one is released unless the parole board finds they pose little risk to community safety." Really?
As Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan once observed, everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts. In Eskin and Parkers' recent rants, they substitute facts with personal attacks to argue that criminal justice "reforms" are working.
ALADS and others have and will continue to point out the fact that violent inmates  are being released early under Prop 57. We continue to point it out because  Prop 57 proponents assured the public that only "non-violent" inmates would be released early from prison under the initiative.
It is striking that the Eskin and Thomas commentaries were devoid of any reasons on why the specific provisions of the "Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act of 2018" should be opposed. Those changes include reclassifying currently "non-violent" crimes like rape of an unconscious person, sex trafficking of a child and 14 other serious crimes as "violent" and thus preventing early release of inmates convicted of these crimes; expanding parole oversight and penalties for violating parole; changing theft laws so serial thieves and organized theft gangs will face punishment; and expanding DNA collection to include those convicted of drug, theft, domestic violence and other serious crimes to help solve rape, murder and other violent crimes.
While ALADS and other public safety groups have strong feelings about the need to reclassify currently "non-violent" crimes like rape of an unconscious person, sex trafficking of a child and 14 other serious crimes as "violent" -- to prevent the early release of inmates convicted of these crimes, we are committed to focusing on the arguments, not the people advocating on the other side of the issue. As peace officers, we often find that people resort to name calling when they have lost the argument and are devoid of facts.
The refusal of opponents to directly address the changes sought by the initiative, instead of substituting insults, name calling and misleading statements for arguments, simply reinforces the fact the changes are common sense proposals which advance public safety.

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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