VIDEO: Did California’s Prop 47 Help or Hinder?


Proposition 47 passed in California in November 2014. Called the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act, it recategorized crimes, turning some felonies into less serious misdemeanors.

Specific to retailers, Prop 47 made the following changes:

Shoplifting, Grand Theft, forging or writing a bad check, and receiving stolen property had to exceed $950 to be categorized as a felony, warranting prosecution.

It also eliminated California’s three strikes law, which triggers much longer prison sentences.

Some argue that the 3-strikes law was not working. It was not discouraging people from committing crimes, they say, and this includes shoplifters, so why lock up people for life?

However, Rachel Michelin, president of the California Retailers Association stated that her members are complaining of an upswing of repeat shoplifting offenders since Prop 47 passed.

“That’s where there is a flaw in Prop 47 because Prop 47 was promised to say, ‘Oh, we’re gonna have safe schools and communities,'” she said. “Well, it didn’t.

“When they made the changes, particularly to the retail theft… they opened this huge loophole where there’s zero consequence for the behavior because I’m [referring to shoplifters] not going to be held accountable for going in and stealing.”

Here, in this one-minute video, Mike Keenan, TAL Global’s Managing Director of Retail Loss Prevention, discusses Prop 47 and the challenges it created for retailers.

© TAL Global, 2019