District Attorneys Warn Nevada: Criminal Justice Reform Puts Safety, Economy, and Tourism at Risk

Reno, Nevada – Crime is an unfortunate reality that impacts communities on a daily basis. From theft to drugs to hit-and-runs, ensuring the safety of our community requires vigilance. On Thursday night, Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp and Washoe County District Attorney Chris Hicks addressed the issue of criminal justice reform during a town hall meeting at the Elks Lodge #597 in Reno.

The town hall was organized by Keystone Corporation, a political action committee that supports pro-business candidates throughout the state. District Attorneys Smittcamp and Hicks expressed concerns about Nevada adopting policies similar to California when it comes to criminal justice reform. They believe that this shift not only affects public safety but also has wide-ranging consequences for the economy, tourism, education, and overall quality of life.

Retail crime, in particular, poses a significant problem for businesses in California. Keystone Corporation Director Bett Sutton explained that repeated offenses by criminals ultimately lead to business closures or higher prices for customers. In 2015, California passed Proposition 47, which reduced drug possession and theft crimes to misdemeanors. District Attorney Smittcamp argued that this creates a culture of non-accountability, especially for habitual offenders.

Smittcamp highlighted the alarming trend of mob-style robberies and repeat offenses in California. She cited cases where individuals have been arrested 95 times for misdemeanor crimes, exploiting the $950 threshold that keeps them from facing harsher penalties. As prosecutors, Smittcamp and Hicks emphasized their frustration with the inability to effectively address these repeated offenses.

In Nevada, criminal justice reform legislation was enacted in 2020, raising the theft threshold from $650 to $1,200 for stolen goods. District Attorney Hicks drew attention to the fact that Nevada may have inadvertently replicated some of the mistakes made by California. He stressed the importance of raising awareness about these issues so that individuals can make informed decisions.

The town hall meeting also addressed other topics such as the reduction of drug laws and bail regulations. Progressive Democrats in Nevada were contacted to gather their perspective on the state’s criminal justice reform efforts. Their insights will be shared in a follow-up piece as the coverage of this issue continues.

In summary, District Attorneys Smittcamp and Hicks expressed concerns about the criminal justice reform trends in Nevada, highlighting its potential negative impact. They emphasized the need for public awareness and informed decision-making to address issues related to public safety, the economy, and overall quality of life.