What is Prop. 20? Measure would allow prosecutors to reclassify some misdemeanor crimes as felonies

One of the measures that will be put before California voters in November would reclassify some misdemeanor crimes as felonies and take a stronger stance on parole.

In California the pendulum swings back and forth on criminal justice reform. If Proposition 20 is approved, it will swing toward the long arm of the law.

The ballot initiative would change a number of criminal sentencing and supervision laws that were passed between 2011 and 2016. It would allow prosecutors to charge some crimes, that are now misdemeanors, as felonies.

Voters okayed the recent propositions 47 and 57 to reduce unconstitutional prison overcrowding.

Prop. 20 supporters say those measures led to an increase in crime by repeat offenders and this measure makes prison release tougher for thousands of prisoners seeking parole.

Among its provisions, Prop. 20 closes a loophole in the law allowing convicted child molesters and sexual predators to be released from prison early.

Opponents say the measure is a multi-million dollar prison spending scheme because the state will need to build more prisons to avoid overcrowding. Opponents say money should be spent on rehabilitation, schools, mental health and homelessness.

Propositions 20 is on the ballot by petition signatures in a campaign mostly funded by law enforcement and is a rebuke to some of former Gov. Jerry Brown's prison reforms.
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