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Research Question

  1. How does Proposition 47 affect Los Angeles County operations and budgeting?

Proposition 47 is part of a sweeping series of criminal justice reforms passed in California over the last five years designed to reduce state prison overcrowding, focus criminal justice expenditures on violent and serious offenses, and increase investments in prevention and support programs. In September 2016, the Los Angeles County Chief Executive Office contracted with the RAND Corporation to conduct an independent operational and fiscal analysis of Proposition 47 as a follow-up review of preliminary reports by Los Angeles County's Department of the Auditor-Controller. Our overall objective was to draw insights from Los Angeles County departments' experiences with Proposition 47 to develop a set of recommendations for metrics and data management systems that Los Angeles County can use to track the operational and fiscal impacts of Proposition 47 and other legislative initiatives. We found that establishing performance metrics would help the county monitor the impact of Proposition 47 and similar initiatives. In addition, a database that protects individual privacy rights and identifies individuals and links data over time across the different county departments is needed.

Key Findings

  • Metrics are needed to measure enhancement of public order and safety; provision of the opportunity for Proposition 47 legal relief to all potentially eligible individuals; improvement of offender service provision, reintegration, and rehabilitation; improvement of efficiencies in the justice system within and across agencies; and reducing nonserious, nonviolent offenders' costs to the justice system.
  • In order to measure the impact of Proposition 47 cases, a database that protects individual privacy rights and identifies individuals and links data over time across the different county departments is needed.

Recommendations

Establishing performance metrics would help the county monitor the impact of Proposition 47 and similar initiatives. While the goals and metrics outlined below are suggested based on review of the literature and on understanding of Proposition 47, our recommended indicators are defined broadly, so they can apply to continual monitoring of justice system performance or can be refined to apply to any target population (such as Proposition 47 individuals).

  • Goal One: Enhance public order and safety.
  • Goal Two: Provide the opportunity for Proposition 47 legal relief to all potentially eligible individuals.
  • Goal Three: Improve offender service provision, reintegration, and rehabilitation.
  • Goal Four: Improve efficiencies in the justice system within and across agencies.
  • Goal Five: Reduce nonserious, nonviolent offenders' costs to the justice system.

In order to measure the impact of Proposition 47 cases, a database that protects individual privacy rights and identifies individuals and links data over time across the different county departments is needed.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Approach

  • Chapter Three

    Findings

  • Chapter Four

    Summary and Recommendations

  • Appendix A

    Legislative Details of Proposition 47

  • Appendix B

    Public Defender Workflow and Weighted Average Calculations

  • Appendix C

    Supporting Materials for Sheriff's Department

  • Appendix D

    Detail for Weighted Workload Study Implementation

The research reported here was conducted by the Justice Policy Program within RAND Justice, Infrastructure, and Environment.

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