Our Taking Back Our Community coalition certainly recognizes that criminal justice system improvements in California were needed, and that AB 109, Proposition 47, and Proposition 57 instituted some positive improvements. Furthermore, we also believe that those criminals who commit non-violent crimes should not be subject to long prison sentences.
However, given the collective changes that have been implemented by AB 109, Proposition 47, and Proposition 57, the reality is that…
…in California today, theft of any items under $950 has become a consequence free crime.
…in California today, the following felony crimes are classified as being “non-violent” in nature:
o Domestic violence
o Rape / sodomy / oral copulation of an unconscious person or by use of a date rape drug
o Battery with serious bodily injury
o Assault with a deadly weapon
o Inflicting corporal injury on a child
o Solicitation to commit murder
o Hate crimes
o Exploding a destructive device with intent to cause an injury
…in California today, individuals convicted of the above referenced “non-violent” felonies are eligible for early release from prison, at the sole and absolute discretion of the State of California.
As a group, those of us that are part of the Taking Back Our Community coalition want to speak in a unified voice that the increases in crime we have been seeing throughout California are attributable in part to recent State legislative changes. And rather than just sit back and allow the criminal justice system pendulum to keep swinging between the total-incarceration and no-incarceration spectrum, we think that common-sense changes should be made so that we can keep the best parts of AB 109, Proposition 47, and Proposition 57, while also effectively protecting our residents and businesses from inappropriate criminal behavior.
To that end, the Taking Back Our Community coalition is quickly growing to include many cities in our region, as the response to the initiative has been overwhelming and positive. We currently have approximately 25 cities that have formally joined the group, with another 15 cities in various stages of joining our efforts.
We have also created a new web page (www.TakingBackOurCommunityCA.com) – which for the time being links to a page on Monrovia’s website – where individuals can learn more about the public safety issues at hand. We encourage you to visit our website and share our new video!