California is planning to add child sex trafficking to the list of those federal offenses eligible for longer prison sentences under the state’s “three strikes” law, despite protests from advocates who say that the statute has not improved crime rates and disproportionately hurts communities of color, Lindsay Holden reports for the Sacramento Bee.
Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 14 in September, making child sex trafficking a serious felony starting Jan. 1. As a result, anyone previously convicted of a different crime listed as a serious or violent felony could face double the prison time if they are later found guilty of child sex trafficking, potentially facing 25 years to life in prison. This is the first time the state has added a crime to the list of strikeable offenses in more than 20 years. As of January 2022, more than 36 percent of those incarcerated in California were serving sentences lengthened by strike enhancements.