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Assessing the Impact of AB971 "Three Strikes, You're Out" on the Justice System in Santa Clara County, California

NCJ Number
R Cushman
Date Published
42 pages
This analysis of the impact of a recent California law termed "Three Strikes and You're Out" on the Santa Clara County criminal justice system concludes that a smaller number of strike cases will occur than originally expected and that the number of trials will increase by 160 percent.
Other expected impacts are an 85-percent increase in the number of court hearings, a 19-percent increase in case processing time, and an increase amounting to 137 jail beds in the pretrial jail population. In addition, an estimated 395 persons sentenced to a total of 239 person-years in jail in 1992 would now be sent to State prison, freeing the county jail space they would otherwise have occupied. Sending these offenders to State prison will save a total of 570 person-years of probation supervision. In addition, the demand for presentence investigation reports will not increase significantly. However, costs associated with defense attorneys will increase. Other impacts include an increase in the number of jurors, increased risks to court security, and reduced availability of courts for civil matters such as consumer fraud and domestic relations matters. Furthermore, coordination of court processes may become more difficult to manage and achieve. Tables