Prior to the passing of Proposition 47 -- the piece of legislation that reduced some property and drug crimes from felonies to misdemeanors -- it was difficult to know how much of an impact it was going to have on California. All anyone knew was that it was likely going to lead to the release of hundreds of prisoners who could have their sentences commuted because of the legislation.
The federal courts in the Central District of California, which includes LA and surrounding counties, has been running an exciting pilot program to give low-level federal criminal offenders a chance for a new life. Through the Conviction and Sentence Alternatives, or CASA, program participants can avoid prison and, in some cases, have their cases dismissed.
Lately it has been hard to find a positive story about California’s prisons, but there is a great one coming out of the Sacramento County Youth Detention Facility. Sacramento’s juvenile hall houses around 200 juvenile offenders as they await trial in either adult or juvenile court.