The initiative reduced the classification of most "nonserious and nonviolent property and drug crimes" from a felony to a misdemeanor.
What did the measure do?
- Classified "non-serious, nonviolent crimes" as misdemeanors instead of felonies unless the defendant has prior convictions for murder, rape, certain sex offenses or certain gun crimes.
- Permitted re-sentencing for those currently serving a prison sentence for any of the offenses that the initiative reduces to misdemeanors. Under Proposition 47, 10,000 inmates were eligible for re-sentencing, according to Lenore Anderson of Californians
for Safety and Justice.
- Required a "thorough review" of criminal history and risk assessment of any individuals before re-sentencing to ensure that they do not pose a risk to the public.
- Created a Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Fund. The fund was set to receive appropriations based on savings accrued by the state during the fiscal year, as compared to the previous fiscal year, due to the initiative’s implementation. Estimates
ranged from $150 million to $250 million per year.
- Distributed funds from the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Fund as follows: 25 percent to the Department of Education, 10 percent to the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board, and 65 percent to the Board of State and Community Correction.
Which crimes were affected?
The measure required misdemeanor sentencing instead of felony for the following crimes:
- Shoplifting, where the value of property stolen does not exceed $950
- Grand theft, where the value of the stolen property does not exceed $950
- Receiving stolen property, where the value of the property does not exceed $950
- Forgery, where the value of forged check, bond or bill does not exceed $950
- Fraud, where the value of the fraudulent check, draft or order does not exceed $950
- Writing a bad check, where the value of the check does not exceed $950
- Personal use of most illegal drugs
In January 2015, it was announced that as many as 1 million Californians could be eligible to change past felony convictions on their records under Proposition 47.