The Relationship Between Las Vegas Crime and California Prisons

Violent crime is on the rise in Las Vegas – notoriously referred to as Sin City for its propensity for catering to vices and various illegal activities. Residents are no strangers to crime in urban areas, but this sudden surge is causing many to question the reasons behind this large influx of crime.

Las Vegas crime rates have risen in the past year, especially in the categories of homicide and aggravated assault. Many people speculate whether the early release of about 30,000 prisoners in California contributed to this influx, but officials such as the head of the California Gang Investigators Association, Wes McBride, say otherwise.

Facts About the California Prisoner Release

The US Supreme Court ordered the state of California to release prisoners due to prison overcrowding beginning in 2011. California’s effort to reduce prison overcrowding led the state to free thousands of prisoners based on federal laws regulating prison populations. However, the real reason for the crime increase may be the fact that Las Vegas police decentralized Metro’s Gang Unit, setting the stage for gangs to commit crime without consequence.

California Proposition 47 converted many nonviolent offenses from felonies to misdemeanors. These offenses include possession of drugs, writing bad checks, and shoplifting. Thanks to Proposition 47, the state transferred many state inmates to county jails – or released them altogether.

Many officials opposed Proposition 47, arguing it would make Las Vegas neighborhoods and schools less safe. Releasing so many convicts back into the public had the potential to expose citizens to significant harm, they said. Others fought against the proposition on the basis that it would downplay serious crimes by making them misdemeanors instead of felonies. However, so far the release does not seem to have made an impact on Las Vegas crime rates or caused significant harm to the public.

Gang Activity: The Real Reason Behind the Influx

Clark County officers say they have arrested enough Californian ex-convicts on charges of robbery and homicide to classify it as an “influx.” At the same time, officers explain there are many reasons that could explain the violent crime uptick in Las Vegas – drugs, poverty, gangs, gun availability, mental illness, and unemployment. Most officials lean toward other causes for the increase in crime, and do not point the finger at California’s prisoner release proposition.

Due to lack of staffing, the Metro police stationed gang detectives in substations – a less-effective means of citizen protection than a centralized office. Wes McBride explains that gangs quickly realized there is no one in the streets of Las Vegas stopping them or making committing crime “uncomfortable.” As soon as gang members recognized this lapse in police security, gang activity more than tripled in the area. Until Metro recentralizes its taskforce, we can expect the crime rates in Clark County to continue climbing.

Get Help for Your Las Vegas Case

Las Vegas is a hotbed of criminal activity, including casino injuries, dangerous drug injuries, injuries at nightclubs and bars, negligent security, and excessive force injuries. No matter what type of personal injury you’ve suffered, you can seek legal help and obtain financial compensation.

De Castroverde Law Group is dedicated to helping the citizens of Las Vegas fight against crime and take back their lives. If you’ve been the victim of violent crime in the area, please get in touch with us right away. Help us put an end to crime by pursuing your personal injury case. On top of obtaining compensation for your injuries and mental strife, you can increase awareness of the crime situation in Vegas.

Our law group also provides outstanding criminal defense. If you’ve been convicted of a violent crime or a minor crime, we can come to your side and defend your rights in front of a judge and jury. Contact our criminal defense lawyers.