Prop. 47 Lessened Racial Disparities in Drug Arrests

prison fence

In 2014, California voters approved Proposition 47, which reclassified drug possession offenses from felonies or “wobblers” – which prosecutors can charge as either felonies or misdemeanors – to misdemeanors, and in the process reduced the state’s prison and jail populations. Now, a study out of UC San Francisco has quantified the effects of the ballot measure, which was at the leading edge of a national movement to reduce incarceration rates and change the criminal justice approach to substance use disorders.

“Our findings suggest that efforts like Prop. 47 are an effective way to decrease the disparity in drug arrests between Blacks and Whites,” said Alyssa Mooney, MPH, a doctoral student in the UCSF Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and first author of the paper, published June 21 in the American Journal of Public Health.

Read more at ucsf.edu.