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Trump case expected to head to the jury today; IN food banks concerned about draft Farm Bill; NH parents, educators urge veto of anti-LGBTQ+ bills; Study shows a precipitous drop in migratory fish populations, in US and worldwide.

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Actor Robert DeNiro joins Capitol Police officers to protest against Donald Trump at his New York hush money trial as both sides make closing arguments. And the Democratic Party moves to make sure President Biden will be on the ballot in Ohio.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Report: Police agencies spending more, solving fewer crimes

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Thursday, February 15, 2024   

A new report shows that despite record spending on law enforcement in California, the clearance rate - that is the rate of crimes solved - was the lowest ever.

Researchers from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice found that the state spent a record $27 billion on police in 2021 - but the clearance rate was just 13% for all reported offenses, down from 20% in 1985.

Senior Researcher for the Center and report author Mike Males explained.

"It is that police are simply not making arrests," said Males. "In Oakland, for instance, they have a crime clearance rate of 2% of serious part-one violence and property offenses."

State Department of Justice data show that San Francisco's clearance rate for all crimes in 2022 was 6.6%. That city's police department has blamed widespread auto break-ins for the low clearance rate.

But Males said that is not enough to account for the decline in clearances over the last 30 years.

Some in law enforcement have suggested that Prop 47 - which raised the threshold for a theft to be charged as a felony - has contributed to the uptick in property crimes over the last two years, and to fewer arrests.

But Assemblymember Isaac Bryan - D-Los Angeles - noted that Prop 47 saved the state more than $750 million in incarceration costs since 2014, and reinvested the money into programs that help people find housing, jobs, and treatment for addiction and mental illness.

"If we provided economic opportunity and the resources for people to thrive and live their lives," said Bryan, "we wouldn't see rampant theft."

Thomas G. Hoffman is retired director of the California Department of Parole Operations.

He said we need more communities to greenlight halfway houses, that give people who have completed their sentences a fresh start.

"We need balance in our criminal justice system," said Hoffman. "The cops play a valuable role, an important role, a respected role, but they are not the entire solution. And if we think that we're going to continue to react to crime after it occurs and that's the solution, we're kidding ourselves."





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