December 15, 2016
Interesting review of impact of Prop 47 on drug cases and offenders in California
This lengthy local article takes a remarkable and effective deep dive into the impact and import of California's Prop 47 two years after its passage. The piece carries a lengthy headline that serves as a kind of summary: "Two years after Prop 47, addicts walk free with nowhere to go: In 2014, California Voters Freed About 13,500 Low-Level Offenders From Crowded Prisons and Jails. But Many Ex-inmates Have Traded Incarceration for a Cycle of Homelessness, Drug Abuse and Petty Crime." Here are excerpts:
Two years after it was approved by California voters, Prop 47 has scaled back mass incarceration of drug addicts, but successful reform is woefully incomplete. Proponents celebrate how the law freed at least 13,500 inmates like Lopez from harsh sentences in crowded prisons and jails, but Prop 47 has done little to help these people restart their lives. Instead, the unprecedented release of inmates has exposed the limits of California’s neglected social service programs: Thousands of addicts and mentally ill people have traded a life behind bars for a churning cycle of homelessness, substance abuse and petty crime.
Prop 47 earmarked millions saved in prison costs for inmate rehabilitation, but not a penny has been spent. Meanwhile, the state’s shortage of treatment programs is more glaring than ever. Expanding rehab would be expensive, but it is still a cheaper, more effective and more humane strategy for addressing addiction than locking drug abusers in prison.
"The problem is, if you don’t actually do anything to change conditions of their lives, they’re going to be back on the streets anyway," said Elliot Currie, a University of California, Irvine criminologist. "What’s to prevent them from going back to the same old ways when they get out? The answer is nothing."
This alarming lack of support services is one key finding in a landmark investigation by USA TODAY Network-California journalists who spent seven months analyzing the impacts of Prop 47, a sweeping criminal justice reform law that has been debated and demonized but rarely understood. To uncover the ramifications of the law, reporters from four publications — The Desert Sun, The Ventura County Star, The Record Searchlight and The Salinas Californian — filed 65 records requests, scrutinized thousands of pages of public documents and performed over 50 interviews with policymakers, academics, police, district attorneys, public defenders, drug addicts and former felons. Among our findings:
California police have dramatically deprioritized drug busts in the wake of Prop 47, arresting and citing about 22,000 fewer people in 2015, a 9.5 percent decrease in the first year since the possession of meth, heroin and cocaine was downgraded to a misdemeanor.
Nearly 200,000 felony convictions have been retroactively erased by Prop 47 as of September, according to a first-ever analysis. Government agencies were not required to track how many convictions were reduced, so journalists gathered public records from 21 counties to calculate a statewide estimate. Many former felons will be slow to take advantage of their restored rights because they are unaware their convictions have been downgraded.
For those who are aware, however, Prop 47 offers an unparalleled chance for better jobs. Tens of thousands of people no longer have to report felony convictions on job applications, making them drastically more employable than they’ve been in years or decades.
Michael Romano, a Stanford law expert who helped write Prop 47, stressed in a recent interview the law has been "amazingly successful" in its primary goal, which was always to get low-level drug offenders out of California’s crowded, damaging prison system. But tackling drug addiction and mental illness, which plague so many who were released under the law, is a task that will require investing hundreds of millions of dollars in community treatment programs across the state. "It is incumbent on local governments to engage this problem," Romano said. "Prop 47 was not a cure-all. It’s not a panacea. It is one piece in an extraordinarily complicated puzzle — perhaps the most complicated puzzle in our communities."
December 15, 2016 at 01:11 PM | Permalink
No discussion of drugs and incarceration is complete without discussion of Prop 36 (2000) yet this "lengthy" article makes no mention. The fact is that CA eliminated prison, or jail for that matter, as an option for drug possession or use 16 years ago. While Prop 47 changed the collateral effects of the felony conviction for drug possession what this article complains about is an alleged failure to help drug users who also have committed serious and violent crimes who did not get the benefit of Prop 36.
This has always been a challenging population and frankly more money won't change that. Prop 47 did release thousands of felons who have also committed serious and viloent crimes other than their drug crimes. Money and drug treatment will not solve their woes because in my experience drug or alcohol abuse can often reveal true character.
Posted by: David | Dec 15, 2016 10:09:06 PM
Book وفاء الزمان
Book أغاني الدرويش
Book علي بك الكبير
Book لا شيوعية ولا استعمار
Book الحكم المطلق في القرن العشرين
Book جميل بثينة
Book الست هدى
Book أميرة الأندلس
Book مجنون ليلى
Book سراج البرية
Book نظرية تعليم اللغة العربية
Book رعاية الضعفاء في الحضارة الإسلامية
Book عبقرية اللغة العربية وجمالياتها
Book الرسائل الزينبية
Book حرية الفكر وأبطالها في التاريخ
Book الثقافة والكرامة
Book غريزة المرأة
Posted by: Falahun | Mar 29, 2017 12:50:58 AM
Book Mobile computing
Book Financial cryptography
Book Advances in network and distributed systems security
Book Data dissemination in wireless computing environments
Book Information brokering across heterogeneous digital data
Book E-business management
Book Digital communities in a networked society
Book Collaborative networked oganizations
Book Building the E-service society
Book Management technologies for E-commerce and E-business applications
Book Trust reputation, and security
Book Conceptual modeling for novel application domains
Book Web services E-Business and the Semantic Web
Book Agent-mediated electronic commerce V
Book E-commerce and Web technologies
Book Electronic commerce technologies
Book Technologies for E-Services
Book Advances in object-oriented information systems
Book Experience management
Book Trusted recovery and defensive information warfare
Book Financial engineering E-commerce and supply chain
Book Uncertainty in geometric computations
Posted by: Falahun | Mar 29, 2017 12:51:48 AM