Vauhini Vara has this article in the WSJ with the above title:
Property crime has been rising in California, and some law-enforcement officials blame the state's October 2011 sentencing overhaul that has kept thousands of low-level criminals out of prison.
California saw a year-over-year increase of 4.5% in property crime in the fourth quarter of 2011, immediately after the overhaul, marking the first rise since 2004, according to a report from the state attorney general this fall. In contrast, property crime, which includes burglary, auto theft and larceny, fell 2.4% in the nine months before the sentencing changes stemming from a U.S. Supreme Court decision.* * *
Gil Duran, a spokesman for [Gov.] Brown, said it is impossible to make claims about the reason for the crime increase with limited data. "Any respectable criminologist will tell you that [they] don't determine overall trends in a year or two," he said in an email. "Attempts to tie any increases to realignment are purely political."* * *Joan Petersilia, co-director of the Stanford Criminal Justice Center, a nonpartisan think tank at Stanford University, said it would be difficult to prove a link with higher property crime so soon after the overhaul. But the police chiefs "may well turn out to be right," she added.
Ms. Petersilia and other scholars and law-enforcement officials also say there could be other reasons for any crime increase, such as police staffing shortages or economic woes. They also say incarceration can be worse at deterring some low-level crimes than methods like electronic monitoring paired with drug and mental-health treatment.
Police chiefs like Ed Medrano of Gardena, Calif., express frustration that there aren't enough data to examine the reasons for the property-crime increase.
"How can we directly attribute this to realignment?" he said. "The reality is that we can't at this point. This was implemented too fast, and there was no mechanism for monitoring the progress of realignment and studying it."