Proposition 47 One Year Out: What Do We See?

The state prison population has dropped, and recidivism is very low.

Proposition 47 took effect on November 5, 2014. In October 2015, the Stanford Justice Advocacy Project published a paper that analyzed the results, in terms of numbers of people released from prison and the effect on recidivism, if any. You can read the entire report, Proposition 47 Progress Report, on the Project’s web site, where you’ll see in-depth information on the following points:

  • Prisoners released from state prison. The Department of Corrections reports that 4,454 people have been released as of September 30, 2015. These prisoners successfully filed petitions for resentencing.
  • Lowered state-wide jail population. The total statewide jail population has dropped by 9,000 inmates since the enactment of Prop 47, according to the Board of State Community Corrections.
  • Fewer jail releases due to overcrowding. The lowered jail population has also meant that fewer jail inmates have been released due to overcrowding, down some 35%.
  • Out early and reoffending? There doesn’t seem to be any data to corroborate this oft-heard fear. In fact, fewer than 5% of state prisoners released under Prop 47 have reoffended.

Los Angeles County is by far the largest source of state prisoners released from custody. Some 1,600 prisoners whose cases originated in Los Angeles have been released; the next largest county is Riverside, with a mere 500 or so.

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