Sacramento, CA — A 2014 California ballot measure is contributing to the lowest arrest rate in state history.
Proposition 47 has been heavily criticized by local law enforcement leaders in the Mother Lode, and in other areas of the state, as it reduced penalties for several “non-violent” offenses from felonies to misdemeanors. The Associated Press reports that a correlating result is the lowest arrest rate in state history.
The AP notes that state Department of Justice statistics show the number of felony arrests plummeted 28.5 percent last year, while misdemeanor arrests rose about 9 percent over 2014. That resulted in 52,000 fewer arrests overall and the lowest arrest rate since record-keeping began in 1960. Notably there were 22,000 fewer drug arrests last year as most offenders were simply cited and released, or ignored because there is little penalty for the offense.
The Department of Justice notes California did see an uptick in the amount of violent crime arrests last year by about 10% from 2014.