Backers of an initiative to reduce the number of violent felons released early from prison have received authorization to begin gathering signatures, Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced Thursday.
What author Nina Salarno Besselman has dubbed “The Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act of 2018” would expand the list of crimes considered violent, making those convicted of them ineligible for early release.
The initiative would also make changes to laws related to theft in an attempt to increase punishment for serial thieves and organized theft rings and expand DNA collection from people convicted of drug, theft and domestic violence-related crimes to help solve violent crimes and exonerate the innocent, according to Besselman.
If the initiative were to become law, there would be increased state and local correctional costs likely in the tens of millions of dollars annually, primarily related to increases in penalties for certain theft-related crimes and the changes to the nonviolent offender release consideration process, according to an analysis made by the Legislative Analyst’s Office and Department of Finance.
The analysis also found there would be increased state and local court- related costs of around a few million dollars annually related to processing probation revocations and additional felony theft filings. There would also be increased state and local law enforcement costs not likely to exceed a couple million dollars annually related to collecting and processing DNA samples from additional offenders.
Valid signatures from 365,880 registered voters — 5 percent of the total votes cast for governor in the 2014 general election — must be submitted by July 3 to qualify the measure for the November ballot, Padilla said.
—City News Service
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: