Cali governor now reducing length of probation to reduce crime


I had to reread this because it didn’t make sense, but it is Governor Newsom and it is California. California Governor Gavin Newsom has proposed shortening probation terms for offenders as a first step in fulfilling his pledge to overhaul the state’s probation system.

Newsom said Friday that he planned to put “an unprecedented amount of money” into a plan to better serve those who were on probation for misdemeanor crimes, KCRA reported.

Officials said that most misdemeanor offenders on probation are not participating in any services or programs. He will add programs and that’s a good thing.

This will be a way to handle the recent upsurge in petty crimes in urban areas. The only problem with his thought process here is the crimes are rising because he reduced penalties for them to a citation, and sometimes, not even that.

To compound it, he won’t let people serve more than two years probation.

“This goes directly to the car break-ins, this goes to the petty crime issue, this should be celebrated by the law enforcement community because of the intensity of services we want to provide,” Newsom said.

San Francisco gang members have been traveling to Los Angeles to steal from tourists’ vehicles since they now know they won’t become incarcerated for their crimes, KCRA reported.

His plan is to not keep them on probation, reducing their accountability.


In the plan, Newsom proposed reducing the maximum probation sentence for all crimes to two years, down from five for felony convictions and three for misdemeanor offenses, according to KCRA.

The governor said supervising people for longer than two years “costs money and for small little petty things you throw people back in the system and that cycle of violence perpetuates itself.”

“This will be controversial because it’s a change,” Newsom said. “The data and the evidence and the science bears out, you front-load services — those first 18 months are determinative.”

The Chief Probation Officers of California supported the governor’s plan to reduce probation terms, KCRA reported.

The group said that research showed Newsom is correct in his assertion that focusing on the first two years “is the best way to help change their behavior and reduce re-offense.”

Not Everyone Thinks It’s a Great Idea

But numerous other law enforcement organizations and agencies oppose the governor’s plan, KCRA reported.

California Police Chiefs Association President Ron Lawrence said that longer probation terms give officers a big window in which they can check offenders’ homes and vehicles for gun, drugs, and other contraband.

Lawrence said his organization would support improvements to the probation process but nothing that actually lessens offender accountability, KCRA reported.

“… where we really struggle and are opposed to changes are anything that would lessen accountability. Lessening the tail on probation would frankly lessen that accountability,” he said.

Lawrence said probation supervision tended to discourage additional criminal behavior.

What do you think?

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