Proposition 6, or the “Safe Neighborhoods Act,” is a comprehensive plan to decrease gang crimes through greater funding to local law enforcement and a streamlining of state agencies that provide intervention programs for youth. Prop. 6 also provides provisions for vacant facilities to be updated for the safe and secure confinement of felons for a short term to alleviate overcrowding of the county jail system. This would prevent crime associated with early released felons who feel empowered by a system that didn’t follow through on its duty to uphold the law. Penalty increases on gang offenders who commit violent crimes and distribute methamphetamine will deter future arrests precedent for which is found in California’s successful “Three Strikes Law” to deter gun crimes. A ten-year sentence increase for felons carrying loaded or concealed firearms in public would further deter such acts. By requiring convicted gang offenders to register with local law enforcement every year for five years following their conviction or release from custody, Prop. 6 would discourage further involvement of these individuals with gangs. This initiative would also establish monies for GPS tracking equipment for monitoring felons.
Prop. 6 would prevent more crime than it would potentially deter by enforcement of heightened penalties alone. It would create more effective intervention programs to stop youth from joining gangs and becoming criminals. These programs would also be held more accountable than current ones.
The initiative would increase funding to local law enforcement without raising state taxes. With gang-related crime on the rise, legislation is badly needed to deter such crimes through stricter penalties and more efficient prevention programs. Increasing penalties for certain crimes “could reduce costs related to courts and other criminal justice agencies by deterring some offenders from committing new crimes,” according to the State Analyst’s Office. The additional funding for prevention and intervention programs would further save taxpayers money because fewer offenders would exist to be incarcerated. Also, because this measure’s provisions might keep criminals locked-up for longer periods, fewer government services would be necessary for them; they would commit fewer crimes that would result in government costs to victims. Prop. 6 will make for safer communities.