Report

Understanding County Budgeting After Proposition 47: A Toolkit for Advocates to Improve Local Investments in New Safety Priorities

Approved by California voters in 2014, Proposition 47 reclassified several nonviolent drug and property crimes from felonies to misdemeanors, with the result that state prison is generally no longer a sentencing option for these offenses. Instead, individuals convicted of a Prop. 47 offense serve their sentence in county jail and/or receive local probation. As a result, the reforms initiated by Prop. 47 are intertwined with local criminal justice funding and policy decisions.

Against this backdrop, the California Budget & Policy Center collaborated with Californians for Safety and Justice to create a guide to help local advocates promote criminal justice reforms through their own county’s budget process. In addition to explaining the basics of county budgeting, this guide provides a framework for investigating the impacts of Prop. 47 on county budgets. This framework highlights how recent criminal justice reforms — such as Prop. 47 — have affected county jails and probation departments and includes a series of questions that advocates can pose to county officials to help evaluate the impact of Prop. 47 at the local level.

Read the guide.