Most California Jurisdictions Show Declines in Property Crime During Justice Reform Era

A new research report released today from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice examines local trends in California’s property crime from 2010 through 2016, a period marked by major justice system reform, including Public Safety Realignment, Prop 47, and Prop 57. Despite the relative stability of recent property crime trends, the report finds substantial variation in crime at the local level, which suggests that recent crime patterns may result from local policies rather than state policy reform.

The divergence between the 213 cities that have shown property crime increases since 2010 versus the 298 cities with property crime decreases was so large – a 31 percentage point difference – that the two categories of cities actually swapped places.

The report finds:

  • From 2010 to 2016, property crime rates fell more than 3 percent statewide despite the implementation of large-scale criminal justice reforms.
  • For every major crime except vehicle theft, more California jurisdictions reported decreases than increases in their crime rates from 2010 to 2016. For example, just 141 jurisdictions reported increased rates of burglary, while 367 jurisdictions showed decreases.
  • Across California, crime trends have been highly localized. Of the 511 cities and local areas included in this analysis, 42 percent showed rising rates of property crime from 2010 to 2016, with an average increase of 12.8 percent, and 58 percent showed decreases, with an average decline of 18.1 percent.
  • Many jurisdictions, especially those that began with higher rates of property crime, have devised successful policies and practices that are improving local safety. Jurisdictions that showed decreasing rates of property crime between 2010 and 2016 had higher rates at the start of the reform era than those showing increases.

Read the full report >>

Mike Males
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice 

About Mike Males

Mike A. Males is a Senior Research Fellow at CJCJ. He has contributed research and co-authored numerous CJCJ publications, including on issues of drug policy, 3-strikes law, criminal justice realignment, and juvenile justice reform.

Dr. Males has a Ph.D. in Social Ecology from U.C. Irvine and over 12 years of experience working in youth programs. He is also content director of Youth Facts (www.YouthFacts.org)

Speak Your Mind

*