Since October 2011, property crime in the state of California has jumped dramatically; from October 2011 to January 2012, property crime skyrocketed 4.5 percent throughout the state. In the previous nine months, property crime had been down some 2.4%.
So, what happened? Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill that let low-level offenders out of prison to prevent overcrowding in the penitentiary system. Those offenders ended up in the hands of county sheriffs, who quickly released them due to overwork. According to the Wall Street Journal:
While the attorney general doesn’t release 2012 data until late this year, localities ranging in size from Sacramento to Santa Rosa in Sonoma County saw property crimes rise last year. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, which hasn’t reported 2012 crime data, says property crimes fell 0.5% nationally in 2011 from a year earlier.
The state of California has been focused on keeping state prison costs down, even though according to liberals, building and staffing more prisons should be a net gain for the state economy. That focus was ratcheted up by a Supreme Court ruling in 2011 that California prison overcrowding violated the Eighth Amendment’s proscription on cruel and unusual punishment. In reaction, 10% of prisoners went free.
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News, and author of the upcoming book “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).