Spinning to Explain Away Increase in Crime Rates
By Michele Hanisee
Imagine the reaction if, after a loan officer told an applicant they would not receive a loan because of too much debt, the applicant asked “How about we just disregard 25% of my debt?”
As illogical as this sounds, it was the approach recently articulated by a group seeking to downplay the crime rate increases in California following various criminal justice “reforms.” In a study picked up by a few newspapers, the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJJ) opined that the crime rate statewide in California decreased following these reforms–if you excluded Los Angeles County. Yes, Los Angeles County, where more than one out of four residents of California reside!
The propaganda espoused by proponents of these various reform measures is that crime is not really rising very much so long as it isn’t as bad as it was 30 years ago. They continue that trend with their attempt to manipulate the statewide crime rate increase by excluding more than 25% of the population.
Contrary to the line peddled by CJCJ, the violent crime rate in California per 100,000 has risen since the passage of AB 109. AB 109 was enacted in October, 2011, a year when the violent crime rate in California was 413.3 per 100,000. In 2016, the violent crime rate in California was 443.9 — an increase of more than 7% over the 2011 violent crime rate.
Likewise noteworthy is the increase in the property crime rate since the 2014 passage of Prop 47 which reduced multiple theft offenses to inconsequential misdemeanors. The property crime rate in California increased in both 2015 and 2016 from the property crime rate in 2014, years in which the rest of the United States marked two more years of acontinuation of a 14-year decrease in property crime rates. Further, prior to Prop 47, California had seen three straight years of property crime rate decreases.
The ADDA has joined crime victims, law enforcement, business owners and public safety leaders working to pass the “Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act of 2018.” This initiative will address some of the serious flaws brought on by “criminal justice reform.” Learn more about “Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act of 2018” at www.KeepCaliforniaSafe.org
Michele Hanisee is President of the Association of Los Angeles Deputy District Attorneys, the collective bargaining agent representing nearly 1,000 Deputy District Attorneys who work for the County of Los Angeles.