Failure of the Criminal Justice Reform

The law enforcement agencies of San Diego County are filled with numerous property crime reports. Despite having proof in video recordings of thieves stealing packages off a porch or a motorcycle, not much action is taken due to the lack of resources and restrictions imposed by Proposition 47.

Proposition 47 was approved by the voters back in 2014, making it nearly impossible to imprison thieves and shoplifters. This Proposition is an unsuccessful experiment in the criminal justice reform that needs to be changed in order to put an end to property crime. The Proposition was intended to keep the non-violent criminals far away from jail and treating these low-level criminals with more compassion. Alongside, the law increased the amount a suspect could steal before being charged to almost double what it was before- from $450 to $950. Despite the fact that theft is considered illegal, shoplifting is considered a low-level crime
under this Proposition.

According to the bill, shoplifters cannot be charged with a felony until they steal anything over $950. Penalties of Possession of drugs and writing bad checks were also reduced. We can see the intention of this law and no doubt it is admirable but the consequences of this bill are unavoidable, public safety disasters for San Diego residents and store owners. With the rise in violent crimes, shoplifters have become bolder because they know that they can’t be charged with felonies. Due to this proposition, not only the retail stores but neighborhoods and communities throughout the state are also affected by the increasing number of thefts.

Areas of San Diego have functioning neighborhood watch programs that help to empower the citizens to be more alert and active in the fight against crime. Unfortunately, as the name implies that the neighbors are only “watching” the criminals steal while the police won’t be able to take any action against the theft due to the proposition. Proposition 47 has given the criminals freehand, as they are aware if they are to be caught stealing the consequences would be very minimal. This has caused the thieves to walk out of the stores without paying for the things they took while the clerks can do nothing but to watch.

Many retailers have implemented do not engage or confront policies, due to which many shoplifting crimes are not even consistently reported. Consequently, the true number of property crimes cannot be reflected by the crime statistics of San Diego. Shoplifting is not the only issue, this is just one part of the picture when it comes to property theft. The app allows members to use the online platform to decrease these crimes by sharing suspicious activities with the communities and law enforcement. By using digital security systems, the homeowners and the renters can record the crimes being committed. The daily posts with a video documenting car break-ins, stolen packages, and thieves
roaming around checking for unlocked doors. A society cannot function properly without a code of conduct, we all can agree hands down that stealing is illegal and has been against the law since Biblical times. Laws are for our general safety, and to ensure our rights as citizens against abuses by other people, by organizations, and
by the government itself. Proposition 47 and such laws must be amended. Property crime laws should be strengthened and new legislation should be enacted. Either we start working on strengthening these laws or just get used to being riffed off on regular basis, and feeling that we cannot do anything about it.