On November 4, 2014, California voters passed Proposition 47, a law that changed certain low-level crimes from potential felonies to misdemeanors. The savings from reduced incarceration costs will be invested into drug and mental health treatment, programs for at-risk students in K-12 schools, and victim services.
Individuals with a prior felony record for any of the following low-level, nonviolent offenses or who are currently serving time for the following crimes may qualify to change their record or their sentence to a misdemeanor:
- Simple drug possession
- Petty theft under $950
- Shoplifting under $950
- Forgery under $950
- Writing a bad check under $950
- Receipt of stolen property under $950
Changing Your Felony
Individuals who are currently incarcerated for offenses committed in the state of California that are impacted by Proposition 47 can seek to be resentenced and released (this is known as resentencing). Click here for more information on the resentencing process.
Individuals who have been previously convicted of these felonies for crimes committed in the state of California can apply to have them changed on their record to misdemeanors (this is known as reclassification). Removal of a felony record can reduce immigration consequences and help remove barriers to jobs, housing and stability. Click here for more information on the reclassification process.
One of Proposition 47’s most promising opportunities is the reallocation of corrections funding to crime prevention and treatment. An independent state agency projects that Proposition 47 will produce hundreds of millions of dollars annually in savings at both the state level and among California’s counties.
Proposition 47 allocates savings in state prison costs to mental health and drug treatment programs at the community level, programs for at-risk K-12 students, and trauma recovery services to help victims of crime. State and local officials must help ensure that savings in state or county justice systems are reallocated to community-based treatment and prevention. Counties should also experience criminal justice cost savings and can allocate these savings as they see fit.
$68 Million in Proposition 47 savings for 2016-2017 fiscal year
The 2016-2017 budget adopted by the state legislature and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown shows Prop. 47 is making good on its promise to save tens of millions of dollars annually that will be reallocated to community-based crime prevention programs. Included in the budget is nearly $68 million in funding for Proposition 47 investment programs, including drug and alcohol rehabilitation, mental health treatment, trauma recovery services for victims of crime and truancy and dropout prevention programs for at-risk schoolchildren.