The Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice has published an interesting report on crime trends in Los Angeles County during what they call the “justice reform era,” from 2010 to 2016, with major changes – Public Safety Realignment, Proposition 47, and Proposition 57 – in California’s justice system. The main findings:
- From 2010 to 2016, roughly half of LA County’s 89 jurisdictions showed an increase in crime (53%) and half showed a decrease (47%). Most jurisdictions elsewhere in California (259 of 422) showed decreases in their crime rates.
- The City of Los Angeles, which encompasses over 40 percent of the county’s population and over half its reported crimes, strongly impacts LA County crime rates. While Los Angeles County showed a modest increase in total crime (5%) from 2010 to 2016, this was made up of extreme variation among its 89 jurisdictions.
- The jurisdictions showing decreased crime from 2010 to 2016 had higher average crime rates at the beginning of the reform period than jurisdictions showing increased crime. This suggests that some jurisdictions, especially those that began with elevated crime, have developed successful policies and practices to improve public safety on a local level.
The overall conclusion: crime patterns in Los Angeles County, as well as the rest of the state, result from local policies and practices rather than statewide reform.