Will California get ‘tough on crime’ again?

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California has spent much of the past decade working to reverse its tough-on-crime past. Voters and lawmakers who spent decades embracing strict criminal penalties and long prison sentences have moved to shrink the prison population, ease punishments for property and drug crimes, and expand access to parole.

Now a measure on the November ballot will test whether California is still committed to this less-punitive approach to criminal justice. Backed by police and prosecutors who say the state’s reform movement has gone too far, Proposition 20 would unwind some of the changes voters have approved in recent years — most notably by increasing penalties for thefts and making more offenders ineligible for parole.

“Prop. 20 reverses the tide and starts us back on the right track of giving law enforcement the tools they need to deal with criminals, especially repeat criminals,” said…

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