SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A new study finds that auto thefts have gone up significantly and other property crimes also have increased after California started a new program that has led to more jail inmates being released early.
The study by the Public Policy Institute of California is the first independent review of crime trends driven by the state's drop in prison population.
The study released Monday finds that violent crimes did not increase as a result of the program, known as realignment.
But property crime increased as inmates who previously would have gone to state prisons were instead sent to county jails. The jails often free them early due to their own problems with overcrowding.
The nonpartisan institute blames the law for a nearly 15 percent increase in vehicle thefts in the first year after it took effect in October 2011.
That's about 24,000 additional car thefts each year.