Santa Clarita Bail Bonds

Is Prop 47 Responsible for California’s Homelessness Crisis?

Is Prop 47 Responsible for California's Homelessness Crisis?

Is Prop 47 Responsible for California's Homelessness Crisis?

Prop 47, the law approved in 2014 that would reduce many theft and drug-related crimes from felonies to misdemeanors, is once again under threat. It has long been blamed for the rise in theft and drug-related crimes in California. Proponents of the law argue that it was effective at reducing the catastrophic overcrowding of California’s jails and prisons. Detractors claim that it emboldened criminals by reducing the penalties associated with committing crimes.

Now, detractors are pinning California’s homelessness crisis on Prop 47, too.

Legislation was introduced at the state level that would repeal some parts of prop 47, namely the reduced severity of some theft and drug crimes, returning their status to felony-level. The legislation would also force drug addicts living on the street into treatment, thereby getting them off the street and magically solving the homeless crisis at the same time!

Unfortunately, proponents of the reforms, such as Yolo County D.A. Jeff Reisig, who co-wrote the legislation, have not put forth any direct evidence that the reason homelessness has exploded in recent years is because drug addicts are declining to seek help. The argument they have is that in places like Illinois, where there are harsher laws regarding drugs and treatment, the homelessness rate is five times less than California. Never mind the fact that housing in California is 97% above the national average and people who actually study homelessness have, time and time again, pointed to loss of income as the #1 contributing factor.

In order for a causal claim (the homelessness crisis is caused by untreated drug addicts) to hold any water at all, data must be collected that supports the claim. That data must then be scrutinized by others in the field to ensure its validity. Without any factual basis for the claim that homelessness is driven by drug-addiction, there is zero evidence that passing any sort of forced-treatment program on homeless drug addicts will have any significant effect on the homelessness rate.

Exit mobile version