Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation

California Journal of Politics and Policy

Managing Editor: Lubenow, Gerald

Ed. by Citrin, Jack / Cain, Bruce / Noll, Roger

4 Issues per year

Why California’s ‘Three Strikes’ Fails as Crime and Economic Policy, and What to Do

1Presley Center for Crime and Justice Studies and Department of Sociology, University of California, Riverside

Corresponding author: Robert Nash Parker, Presley Center for Crime and Justice Studies and Department of Sociology, University of California, Riverside

Citation Information: California Journal of Politics and Policy. Volume 5, Issue 2, Pages 206–231, ISSN (Online) 1944-4370, ISSN (Print) 2194-6132, DOI: 10.1515/cjpp-2012-0008, July 2012

Publication History

Published Online:
2012-07-29

Abstract

Although political leaders and the public believe that California’s “tough on crime” policies, most notably its “Three Strikes” sentencing framework, put into effect in 1994, are responsible for a 100% crime drop in California since 1992, the evidence from research and a logical examination of data on violent crime state by state over the past 50 years conclusively shows this is not the case. A multivariate time series model for California over the last five decades shows that the imposition of Three Strikes in 1994 has had no impact on violent crime in the state, but alcohol consumption and unemployment have important impacts on the rate of violent crime. If these results are correct, the budget of California has suffered a tremendous burden caused by the excess imprisonment of many nonviolent offenders under the Three Strikes policy. The time has come to take action to wean California from its obsession with punishment and help relieve the budget crises on a permanent basis by revising California Prison Policy.

Keywords: corrections; crime; penal systems; prisons; Three Strikes policy

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.