March 12, 2024 ·
11:00 am -
March 21, 2024 ·
11:30 am -
February 27, 2024
February 23, 2024
February 14, 2024
2024 Speaker Series on California's Future — In-Person and Online
We believe in the power of good information to build a brighter future for California. Help support our mission.
Magnus Lofstrom, Joseph Hayes, Brandon Martin, Deepak Premkumar
Traffic stops have emerged as a key driver of racial disparities in law enforcement and an area of potential reform. Our new report examines whether certain types of traffic stops could be enforced in alternative ways that reduce racial disparities and risks to officers and civilians without jeopardizing public safety.
Our findings suggest that nighttime traffic stops for non-moving violations—especially those made by local police and sheriff departments—deserve consideration for alternative enforcement strategies. However, any changes need to be balanced against the possibility of hampering efforts to confiscate dangerous contraband, especially firearms.
Deepak Premkumar, Alexandria Gumbs, Shannon McConville, Renee Hsia
Nearly 200 Californians die each year in police encounters. Amid growing concern over civilian deaths and racial injustice, we examine what the existing data can—and cannot—tell us about police use of force and misconduct. We also offer recommendations for strengthening the state’s ongoing efforts to improve police transparency and accountability.
Joseph Hayes, Heather Harris
Although police reports of domestic violence do not seem to have increased during shelter-in-place, data from hotlines and service providers suggest a troubling upward trend.
Caroline Danielson, Tess Thorman
Most parents of young children work, but public preschool programs are fragmented and currently unable to serve all who are eligible. Improvements will require a multipronged approach.
Sonya Tafoya, Mia Bird, Ryken Grattet, Viet Nguyen
California’s county jails have been profoundly affected by several reforms over the last decade. Most importantly, in 2011, public safety realignment shifted responsibility for large numbers of non-serious, non-violent, and non-sexual offenders from state prisons to county correctional systems. This lowered the state prison population—allowing prisons to prioritize beds for more serious offenders—but increased county jail populations. Three years later, Proposition 47 downgraded a range of drug and property offenses from potential felonies to misdemeanors. The reduced population pressure has allowed jails to prioritize beds for more serious drug and property offenders who are no longer eligible for prison.
Despite the growing importance of jails, little is known about the basic characteristics of jail populations. In this report, we analyze state and local data on individuals moving through county correctional systems. Using data from 11 counties, we find that:
As jail populations shift toward more serious drug and property offenders, counties and the state will need to consider how jail security and rehabilitative programs might be made more effective. While researchers and policymakers continue to examine the longer-term effects of realignment and Proposition 47, it is also important to keep in mind that the recent reprioritization of jail beds may have implications for crime and recidivism.
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