Los Angeles County Jail Population Plummets After Passage of Prop. 47

Los Angeles County’s jail population has sunk to its lowest level in years following the passage of a new state law which reduces sentences for certain offenses.

There were less than 16,000 inmates in the county jails at the end of 2014, according to a new status report given to the Board of Supervisors Thursday. The last time incarceration rates were that low was in 2011 before the state’s realignment law shifted many lower-level offenders to county jails. Just three months ago, the number stood at 19,000.

Officials attribute the reduction to the passage of Proposition 47 last November. The statute downgraded a variety of “nonserious and nonviolent property and drug crimes” from felonies to misdemeanors and made thousands of inmates eligible for release.

Numerous counties have seen their jail populations shrink in the wake of 47’s passage. By the end of 2014, San Diego also saw a 9 percent reduction, while Orange County saw a drop of 15 percent.

Read more about Thursday’s report here.