BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — On Friday, the Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer and Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh said they're working together to reduce crime in the community.
In a news release, officials announced the proposition, “Reducing Crime And Keeping California Safe Initiative,” which qualifies for the November 2020 ballot. The initiative is reportedly designed to "reduce the unintended consequences of recent changes in the criminal justice system by making key changes."
According to the Mayor some of those initiatives include:
(1) Creates tougher laws addressing repeat theft offenders and organized groups who commit thefts that stifle businesses and drive up prices on all consumers.
(2) Closes a loophole that currently allows inmates convicted of violent crimes to receive early parole by being treated as “non-violent” offenders. Currently, early parole is being granted because crimes like drive by shootings, assault with firearms, serial arson, hate crimes, and many sex offenses are treated as “non-violent.”
(3) Ensures DNA collection from convicted criminals is permitted, an essential tool for solving the most serious and violent crimes through the use of DNA evidence.
In a statement Zimmer said:
“This initiative is an important step in fixing some of the most glaring loopholes that recent efforts at reform have created. Reinstituting real consequences for repeat theft offenders allows us to combat one of the major issues that has come with the increased homeless population. Our battle to reduce crime in our communities must be fought at the ballot box in order to fix the problems that recent laws have created.
Mayor Karen Goh added:
“We need tools that allow our community to be safer. I encourage support of this initiative because it is an important step in providing the tools that our officers need to more effectively serve our community."