California’s Crime Rates Reflect Dangerous State Policies

Katy Grimes of the California Globe has this story discussing what is making California’s cities more dangerous with recent data on crime rates.  Grimes mentions a few of the propositions that have impacted crime over the last decade. 

Proposition 47 largely decriminalized theft and drug crimes by reducing those crimes and a number of other “non-violent” felonies to misdemeanors; Prop. 57 allows early release for “non-violent offenders,” including rape by intoxication of an unconscious person, human trafficking involving a sex act with minors, arson causing great bodily harm, drive-by shooting, assault with a deadly weapon, and hostage taking. 

However, there is one bill that was not highlighted.  AB 109 signed by Governor Jerry Brown in 2011 which allowed for the release approximately 30,000 felons from state prison with most going on probation rather than parole. This bill removed the option of prison sentences for crimes such as auto theft, drug felonies and domestic violence and replaced it with county jail time or rehabilitation services. 

Grimes included this list of the most dangerous cities in California for 2021 in the article: 

1. Emeryville – the most property crimes in the state.

2. Oakland– an overall crime rate 150% higher than the national average, a murder happening every five days on average.

3. Commerce – Over the course of a year, any given resident has a 1 in 12 chance of being the victim of a property crime, the second highest rate in California.

4. Red Bluff experienced a shocking rate of violent crime in 2019.

5. Signal Hill – surrounded entirely by Long Beach, says Signal Hill comes in as the fifth most dangerous place to call home in California.

6. San Bernardino – With 46 murders in 2019, San Bernardino had the third highest murder rate in the state for 2019.

7. West Hollywood – West Hollywood’s property crime rate is the ninth highest in the state, and rape cases are the 39th highest.

8. Stockton had the third highest violent crime rate in California, with 34 murders, 181 rapes, and 3,007 aggravated assaults.

9. Marysville Marysville actually had about twice as many car thefts per capita as Stockton.

10. Barstow – Burglary is especially prevalent in Barstow and ranks as the fourth highest rate in California. Barstow’s violent crime rate as a whole is also in the top ten statewide.

The information provided by Grimes is not widely discussed in the media, but is essential for public understanding of the problem.    California’s crime rates are rising due to so-called criminal justice reforms marketed by anti-sentencing groups claiming that they would save tax dollars and improve public safety.  Both claims were false.