April 30, 2020
California Federation of Republican Women
Sue Blair, President
By Lou Ann Flaherty, CFRW Legislative Analyst
|A “yes” vote supports this initiative to add crimes to the list of violent felonies for which early parole is restricted; re-categorizes certain types of theft and fraud crimes as wobblers (chargeable as misdemeanors or felonies); and requires DNA collection for certain misdemeanors.|
|A “no” vote opposes this initiative to add crimes to the list of violent felonies for which early parole is restricted; re-categorizes certain types of theft and fraud crimes as wobblers (chargeable as misdemeanors or felonies); and requires DNA collection for certain misdemeanors.|
Imposes restrictions on parole program for non-violent offenders who have completed the full term for their primary offense. Expands list of offenses that disqualify an inmate from this parole program. Changes standards and requirements governing parole decisions under this program. Authorizes felony charges for specified theft crimes currently chargeable only as misdemeanors, including some theft crimes where the value is between $250 and $950. Requires persons convicted of specified misdemeanors to submit to collection of DNA samples for state database.
The ballot initiative was designed to amend several criminal sentencing and supervision laws previously passed in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that overcrowding in the state’s prisons resulted in cruel and unusual punishment and affirmed a lower court’s order to reduce the prison population:
AB 109 (passed in 2011)
Shifted imprisonment of non-serious, non-violent, and non-sexual offenders, as defined in state law, from state prisons to local jails. Made counties, rather than the state, responsible for supervising certain felons on parole.
Proposition 47 (passed in 2014)
Changed several crimes, which the measure considered non-serious and non-violent, from felonies or wobblers to misdemeanors. These include drugging and raping somebody, raping a developmentally disabled person, spousal abuse, a drive-by shooting, human trafficking of a child and others.
Proposition 57 (passed in 2016)
Increased parole chances for felons convicted of nonviolent crimes, as defined in state law, and gave them more opportunities to earn sentence-reduction credits for good behavior.
Reform the unintended consequences of 2011-2016 reforms to better protect the public.
Increased state and local correctional costs likely in the tens of millions of dollars annually, primarily related to increases in penalties for certain theft-related crimes and the changes to the nonviolent offender release consideration process. Increased state and local court-related costs of around a few million dollars annually related to processing probation revocations and additional felony theft filings. Increased state and local law enforcement costs not likely to exceed a couple million dollars annually related to collecting and processing DNA samples from additional offenders.
Support – to name a few
- Keep America Safe Campaign
- Los Angeles Police Protective League
- Orange County Board of Supervisors
- Jerry Brown
- American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California
AB109, Propositions 47 and 57 decreased the prison population and placed criminals back on California streets. The California Criminal Sentencing Parole, and DNA Collection Initiative seeks to correct the problem they created.