A paper published in the journal Criminology & Public Policy addresses one of the most important crime policy questions in America: Can prison populations be reduced without endangering the public?
That question was examined by researchers who tested the impact on public safety of California’s dramatic efforts to comply with court-mandated targets to reduce prison overcrowding
The results showed that California’s Realignment Act, passed in 2011, had no effect on aggregate violent or property crime rates in 2012, 2013 or 2014. When crime types were disaggregated, a moderately large, statistically significant association between realignment and auto theft rates was observed in 2012. By 2014, however, this effect had decayed, and auto theft rates returned to pre-realignment levels. (more…)