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Property crime rose in California after release of 18,000 nonviolent offenders

Posted Dec 10, 2013 3:15 PM CDT
By Terry Carter

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California’s "public safety realignment," under a 2011 law passed in response to a federal court order concerning overcrowded prisons, has put 18,000 nonviolent offenders back on the streets. Since that time, property crime such as auto theft has increased–at a time it has otherwise been decreasing nationwide, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

The story is based on a report issued Monday by the Public Policy Institute of California, a non-profit research organization, titled "Public Safety Realignment and Crime Rates in California."

The realignment moved many nonviolent offenders to local jails and released others on probation. The PPIC's report says that during the program’s first year, property crime in California rose 7.6 percent, while it decreased slightly nationwide. The greatest increase was in auto theft, with a 14.8 percent increase. Those numbers, too, had been declining, but suddenly increased by about 24,000 a year.

Significantly, violent crimes increased by only 3.4 percent and it is typical of a national trend. The report’s co-author, Magnus Loftstrom, told the Union-Tribune that even with the increases in property and violent crimes, both are significantly lower than in the past.

Related article:

ABAJournal.com: "California ordered to cut inmate population by 10,000 by the end of the year"

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