On Election Day, voters in California agreed to the implementation of Proposition 47, however some of those working in law enforcement say that the result might not be all good.
Proposition 47 changes the law on some property and drug charges and makes them misdemeanors rather than felony charges. As it comes into force straightaway, there is a concern about the possibility that all those convicted when the law was a felony might now be released from state and county correctional facilities. This could mean thousands released across the state, and hundreds released in San Diego County alone.
Those inmates who were previously convicted of a felony covered under Proposition 47, and who have no record of violence, have already begun to ask to have their cases reconsidered.
Bill Gore, San Diego County Sheriff, has said that he will follow the law and release those who now would receive a lesser sentence, but he cannot help but be concerned that there will be a higher risk to public safety.
The idea behind Proposition 46 was that some of the money saved in the expense of sending people to prison, estimated to be around $200 million, should be used instead for programs to rehabilitate those on drugs, but Gore is not certain that those who are charged will actually take part in any drug rehabilitation program.
Dave Greenberg, who is the Chief Deputy District Attorney for San Diego County, says that he does not think those who are arrested on possession of drugs actually want treatment and he is concerned that property crime will increase as the addicts look for ways to pay for drugs.
Regardless of their concerns that crimes against properties will increase, both men said they will do their best to ensure the new regulations work.