According to the Sacramento-based Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, the only study Gascón cites is an unpublished, non-peer reviewed manuscript, “The Criminal and Labor Market Impacts of Incarceration,” by Michael Mueller-Smith (available at: https://sites.lsa.umich.edu/mgms/wp-content/uploads/sites/283/2015/09/incar.pdf.)
It conflicts with multiple published, peer-reviewed studies indicating that tougher sentencing does reduce crime. Publicly available data from the U.S. Department of Justice shows that the number of crimes committed during the years that California enacted and enforced tough sentencing for habitual felons, crime rates dropped dramatically. Comparing crimes reported in 1992 with 2011, there were 932,996 (45%) fewer of the seven major crimes, 190,681 (55%) fewer violent crimes, and 2,129 (54%) fewer murders. “That’s almost one million fewer victims when we were enforcing tough sentencing,” said Foundation President Michael Rushford. Read the full Press Release.