Proposition 47: Safe Neighborhood and Schools Act

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Thousands of prisoners are out from behind bars, and it may sound alarming, but that is the goal of a ballot initiative called the Safe Neighborhood and Schools Act.

Prop 47 purports to relieve California’s critically overcrowded prisons, streamline the justice system, and save tax payers a billion dollars over five years.

It has the support of some of the state’s most influential law enforcers, but here in San Diego, the chief says it does not make sense.

Chief Shelley Zimmerman is a champion for any cause that supports crime fighting and law enforcement, but Proposition 47, does not get her support.

Many lesser crimes, now felonies would become misdemeanors, carrying less sever punishment.

Drug felonies such as possession, petty theft, possession of stolen property, shoplifting, forgery and writing bad checks would mean less than a year in prison, down from three years.

One of the measure’s authors, Lenore Anderson of California’s for Safety and Justice says the initiative is an attempt to address California’s over-reliance on incarceration, and over reliance on prison.

Two county prosecutors, both in the San Francisco Bay Area, endorse the measure, as does San Diego’s former Police Chief William Landsdown.

They say the law would take thousands of lesser offenders out of the state’s over crowded prisons and save tens of millions of dollars a year.

Chief Zimmerman tells KUSI she thinks lightening punishment for drug offenders will remove the dis-incentive to commit the crimes

She says it’s important to look past the title: Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act.

The closest thing to completely unbiased report on Prop 47 can be found at the Secretary of State’s website:

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