The Impact of Fiscal Limitation on California's Criminal Justice System

by Jan M. Chaiken, Warren Walker, Anthony P. Jiga, Sandra Segal Polin

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Proposition 13, effective July 1978, marked a turning point in funding of California's criminal justice system. This report presents information on revenue and expenditure trends both before and after passage of Proposition 13, examines the response of each of the elements of the criminal justice system during the first year, and identifies general trends and patterns that may have significant implications for the future. Among the trends are attempts to apply short-term solutions to long-term problems, a growing influence of the state and federal governments over local government activities, a growing conflict between local government autonomy and the mandates and dictates of higher-level governments, and changes in the goals and objectives of the criminal justice system that portend a less humane and less responsive system.

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