The unbelievable legislation coming out of the California State Legislature seeking to make life easier for criminals is disconcerting. Bills proposing to reduce parole supervision from one year to 180 days for serious felons, including sex offenders, a bill to allow criminal charges to be filed against police officers who use deadly force, and a bill to get rid of the cash bail system in California are just a few of the bills seeking to undermine police and public safety in California.
The compassion of California Democrats for the criminal predators among us is flooding communities with career criminals. They now work their trade without fear of arrest, jail, prison or even rehabilitation because the penalties have legislatively been reduced, minimized, or eliminated altogether.
Californians were already experiencing the effects of the state’s 2011 prison “realignment” –jail overcrowding and police turning blind eyes to much criminal activity simply because even if arrested, the perpetrators will be back on the streets quickly, often within hours.
Then, in rapid succession, Proposition 47 and Proposition 57 were sold to the voters with promises from Gov. Jerry Brown and Democrat legislators that these initiatives would not increase crime, and instead would increase rehabilitation and reduce recidivism. Everyone deserves a second chance. However, in California, in far too many cases that second chance has become a third, fourth and or even sixteenth chance.
On social media these days, particularly Nextdoor.com, the neighborhood social networking service, the constant stream of postings about aggressive street people, shoplifters and strung out heroin and meth addicts, stealing anything they can grab and sell for quick cash is astounding. Store owners and managers report that thievery is rampant, and they have no recourse.
For the current class of California Democrat Legislators, there is no such thing as being too soft on crime. To that end, State Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) has introduced a bill that would allow a criminal who has committed a misdemeanor or felony crime, to be placed in a pretrial diversion program instead of facing the consequences for committing the crime(s). Not only can they avoid a jury trial and jail or prison time but they don’t even have to admit they committed the crime in the first place.
Sen. Skinner’s Senate Bill 394 would allow criminals to be “diverted” – no guilty plea, no conviction, no deportation, no gun confiscation, etc. – if that person is a parent and attests they provide a “significant portion” of the care and housing of a minor. The criminals don’t even have to be the primary caregiver of the minor, but only reside at the home some of the time and pitch in on household expenses. Even if the person is arrested for crimes against children like human trafficking or child abuse they may still be eligible under this bill.
The only requirement is for the criminal to complete a term of supervision and a few classes on subjects like financial literacy, anger management, and proper parenting, while receiving housing assistance and job training.
The bill specifies that the judge, district attorney and police department all may have to sign off on the diversion. But it also specifies that the only exemptions are for serious crimes, a few violent crimes, and individuals the judge determines are a “danger to public safety” or to a child if he or she is in their custody.
Remember that in California, crimes once considered “serious or violent crimes” are no longer because of Propositions 47 and 57, including but not limited to: human trafficking, elder abuse, child abuse, domestic violence, battery, assault, or even possessing and distributing child pornography.
The 04/08/19- Senate Public Safety bill analysis reported the California District Attorneys Association opposition to SB 1184:
“In Los Angeles County alone, there were 284,433 misdemeanors filed in FY 2014-15. SB 394 would allow many of those defendants (plus a sizable cohort of 1170(h) felons) to make the case for diversion based on a claim that he or she is the primary caregiver, whether financially or through emotional support and care. In addition to the time this would take up front, because this is pre-plea diversion, the court would have to leave all of these cases open for up to two years while the defendant participates in the program.”
“This pre-plea diversion makes the case difficult and potentially impossible to prosecute years later, when witnesses move, lose interest, or suffer memory loss as the case ages with no movement toward resolution if the person fails the diversion program. In fact, the amount of time since the crime’s commission could actually be far greater than two years, given the amount of time it may take to get a defendant to court to answer for the crime, the amount of time it takes for the defendant to convict the court to grant the diversion, and the length of the diversion program.”