LA County assessment shows reduction in victim restitution due to Prop 47, AB 109

Tue, 04/07/2015 - 12:54pm

The County of Los Angeles Chief Executive Office's preliminary assessment of Proposition 47 shows that the reclassification of Proposition 47 crimes to misdemeanors are excluding victims from engaging in the county's victim restitution collection system.

Page five of the assessment published by the LA Times also states that some victims will not be able to access LA County's restitution collection system because certain AB 109 felonies have now been reclassified as Prop. 47 misdemeanors, which the report concludes will have a direct impact on the level of services available to victims.

In addition to infringing on victims' rights and services, the LA County assessment also highlights the affect Prop. 47 will have on mandatory drug courts and inmate mental health programs.

"...Prop. 47 has significantly decreased voluntary participation in court-supervised treatment programs as misdemeanors may decide to accept brief jail time or less demanding conditions rather than intensive and lengthy commitments for substance use disorder treatment," states the report.

The assessment includes areas and programs to be considered by LA County for Prop. 47 funding, however the alleged money saved by the measure will not be seen until 2016 and will vary by county.

Crime Victims United of California's president, Harriet Salarno, said the preliminary assessment done by one of the largest counties in California predicts an unsettling future for other, especially smaller, counties in the state. She believes Prop. 47 will do more damage than good.

"Right now these inmates are being kicked out onto the street to fend for themselves and possibly go back to toxic lifestyles and environments," said Salarno. "That's not fair. These individuals need immediate support and access to services and the funding for them is nowhere in sight."

The bottom line is Proposition 47 is just a selfish way for people to feel good about themselves and empty out prisons at lightening speed. No one is thinking about the consequences and the horrible impact this will have on victims."