Masters Thesis

Decarceration in California: how a plurality of political agents are changing criminal justice in the golden state

My role in this study was to assist with the data collection and interpretation of that data in order to assess whether or not California is decarcerating. The research will attempt to gain insight on whether specific California Propositions (47 and 64) have successfully and responsibly decreased the mass incarceration crisis within California while still maintaining public safety. The research study focused on the research question, “Considering that all of California’s major political entities are participating in the current process of decarceration, to what extent are their efforts leading California from mass incarceration to an increase in decarceration of the criminal population in the Golden State?” Information was gathered from five Northern California Superior Courts and five Southern California Superior Courts through telephone calls and by making connections with staff members at those specific courts. Questions were asked regarding the total amount of felony and misdemeanor convictions per county in the year of 2014 and 2018. I was able to gain significant experience collecting data from community members and employees of the Superior Court. I was also able to be a part of a research study that may result in a published article from Assistant Professor Wilson. The information gathered will assist Professor Wilson with completing a published article that will educate the community and political entities (i.e. the courts, the elected legislative, and the executive) regarding decarceration in California.

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