In the state of California, Prop 47 was passed as the “Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act.” This proposition can assist in the reduction of imprisonment population as it reorders nonviolent misconducts that were originally felonies as misdemeanors. The reduction of prison inmates will save California’s money that can then be utilized to assist in drug, mental and health programs for schools. Here are the details of Prop 47:
- Classified “non-serious, nonviolent crimes” as misdemeanors instead of felonies unless the defendant has prior convictions for murder, rape, certain sex offenses or certain gun crimes.
- Required a “thorough review” of criminal history and risk assessment of any individuals before re-sentencing to ensure that they do not pose a risk to the public.
- Distributed funds from the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Fund as follows: 25 percent to the Department of Education, 10 percent to the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board, and 65 percent to the Board of State and Community Correction.
- Permitted re-sentencing for those currently serving a prison sentence for any of the offenses that the initiative reduces to misdemeanors. Under Proposition 47, 10,000 inmates were eligible for resentencing, according to Lenore Anderson of Californians for Safety and Justice.
- Created a Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Fund. The fund was set to receive appropriations based on savings accrued by the state during the fiscal year, as compared to the previous fiscal year, due to the initiative’s implementation. Estimates ranged from $150 million to $250 million per year.
Hundreds of prisoners have already been affected by this new proposition whose sentences have been reclassified from felonies to misdemeanors. There are several crimes that are eligible for the reduction of a sentence under Prop 47, such as:
- Possession of stolen property, value not over $950
- Possession of cocaine, methamphetamine, “date rape” drugs and heroin
- Forgery, value not over $950
- Credit and check fraud, value not over $950
- Grand theft of property/items, value not over $950
- Shoplifting, value not over $950
All the listed offense are deemed nonviolent crimes and may be eligible for Prop 47. Not every inmate will be eligible for the reduction of their sentencing. The maximum punishment is one year in confinement and any other prisoner already serving time as a felony can be eligible to appeal for either a simpler sentence or a possible early release from jail. In order to be fully eligible, a defendant cannot be a registered sex offender nor involved in a serious/violent crime.
The Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong come equipped with the best lawyers in order to represent and defend the accused on all Prop 47 Felony Reductions. The talent of the lawyers is apparent due to the sensitive nature of these cases and the special attention each defendant receives throughout this tedious process.