Proposition 47 Would Reduce Penalties for Nonviolent Crimes

by Salvatore P. Ciulla on January 30, 2015 · 0 comments

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A new initiative on the November ballot in California would change the way the state punishes nonviolent offenders. It could also possibly allow more than 14,000 current inmates petition the court for resentencing.


The measure would take current felony crimes and reclassify them as misdemeanors, including some drug offenses, property crimes involving less than $950, shoplifting, forgery, fraud, and hot check writing. Currently, punishments for these crimes range from 16 months to 3 years in county jail, which has a serious impact on the jail population and their lives when they get out and attempt to assimilate into society. Studies show that inmates who feel they don’t have a chance to make an honest living often return to the crimes that got them into jail in the first place.


It would not, however, change current convictions. Although advocates say the program would save California taxpayers millions dollars, Proposition 47 requires those savings to be reinvested in mental health treatment programs, substance abuse treatment, victims’ services, and programs to reduce dropout and truancy rates.


Advocates of the measure say it will help California comply with a Supreme Court order to reduce prison overcrowding by 30,000 inmates. The deadline for reducing the prison population was 2013. It will also help those convicted of nonviolent offenses get back in the workforce more easily, since they aren’t eligible for federal student aid and have a harder time finding employment, since most employers screen applicants for felony convictions.


The Law Office of Salvatore Ciulla located in Orange County, California, represents individuals accused of murder and manslaughter, aggravated assault, burglary, theft and embezzlement, child abuse and domestic violence, narcotics possession and sales, drunk driving (DUI) and vehicular homicide, sexual assault and three strikes cases. We also take Juvenile Court cases and all misdemeanor offenses.


Our mission is to provide the best legal representation and counsel to all clients. Every client and every case is important. Call us at 714-542-0500 for a free analysis of your case and/or charges, or contact us at SalCiullaLaw.com.


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