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Press Releases

July 25, 2007

Senate Republicans Propose Zeroing Out Voter-Enacted Drug Treatment Program
Senate Republicans today proposed ending state funding for drug treatment under Proposition 36—California’s treatment-instead-of-incarceration law approved by 61% of voters in 2000—even though the program saves $2.50 for every $1 invested in it. Advocates criticize the Senate Republicans for attempting to override the will of the voters in back-room budget dealing.

   
July 23, 2007

Al Gore III Faces Three Years in Prison For Drug Posession; Californians Urge Alternative to Incarceration
Al Gore III, the 24-year-old son of the former vice-president, is facing more than three years in prison for simple drug possession following an arrest in Southern California earlier this month. Advocates call for Gore to receive what most non-violent, low-level drug offenders in California do—community-based treatment instead of incarceration under Prop. 36, passed by 61% of voters in 2000. The DA of Orange County will determine Gore’s eligibility to the program in the next couple of weeks.

   
July 20, 2007

Assembly Votes to Cut Life-Saving Drug Treatment, Provide Tax Breaks to Large Corporations
The California Assembly today reversed its agreement with the Senate to increase funding for community-based treatment for non-violent, low-level drug offenders, voting instead to cut current spending levels by $25 million. Advocates say the plan to cut funding to the life-saving and cost-effective program, in exchange for hefty tax breaks for large corporations, is a slap in the face of California voters. Prop. 36 proponents ask the Senate to reject the cut, pointing out it would actually cost taxpayers $62.5 million, and leave the program short by over $100 million.

   
May 14, 2007

Gov.’s May Revise Asks Counties to Provide Drug Treatment with Fewer Resources
In response to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s revised state budget proposal released today, drug treatment advocates noted the under funding of California’s voter-approved, treatment-instead-of-incarceration law.

   
May 10, 2007

Ahead of Monday Budget Release, Advocates Urge Gov. to Increase Drug Treatment Funding
Next Monday (May 14), Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will release his revised budget proposal for Proposition 36, California’s voter-enacted, treatment-instead-of-incarceration program. Advocates are calling on the governor to heed the advice of a recent state-funded report by increasing funding for the program to $228.6 million.

   
April 18, 2007 Hundreds of Prop. 36 Graduates Form Chain of Recovery at State Capitol, Celebrate Program’s Success
Hundreds of graduates and supporters of California’s six-year-old, treatment-instead-of-incarceration program, will gather on the West Steps of the State Capitol Building today for the second annual “Prop. 36 Works!” rally and to form a human chain of recovery. The event celebrates the program’s success and draws attention to the positive and contagious nature of recovery from alcohol and drug addiction, as well as the need for greater access to substance abuse treatment for all Californians suffering from addiction, especially those in the criminal justice system.
   
April 13, 2007 Governor’s Drug Treatment Funding Proposal Short By $109 Million, UCLA Study Finds
Researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles have found that California’s six-year-old, treatment-instead-of-incarceration program, needs at least $228.6 million to provide adequate services, improve treatment outcomes and increase taxpayer savings.
   
April 9, 2007 LA County Supervisor Burke Proclaims
“Prop. 36 Grads Day”

On April 10, County Supervisor Yvonne Burke (District 2) will proclaim “Prop. 36 Graduates Day” in celebration of the thousands of county residents who have successfully completed treatment under California’s landmark treatment-instead-of-incarceration law, Proposition 36.
   
April 3, 2007 Drug Treatment Program’s Success Downplayed in Recent Media Coverage
Recent media reports on California’s treatment-instead-of-incarceration law, Proposition 36, have called into question whether that program has been successful enough. Treatment advocates counter that the program has saved the state over $1 billion while reducing drug-related incarceration. They complain that the state is failing to implement policies to further enhance program outcomes.
   
February 21, 2007

Legislative Analyst’s Office Recommends Against Cuts In Prop. 36 Drug Treatment Funding
The Legislative Analyst’s Office today recommended the Legislature reject Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposal to cut funding to Proposition 36, California’s voter-approved, treatment-instead-of-incarceration law. The Drug Policy Alliance welcomed the LAO report, which acknowledges that the governor’s plan would undermine the cost-effective program and could lead to legal conflicts.

   
February 2, 2007

Gov. Will Force Counties to Pay For Prop. 36
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger plans to force counties to pay a share of Prop. 36 drug treatment costs, or they will receive no money from the state for the voter-mandated, treatment-instead-of-incarceration program. The sponsors of the 2000 ballot measure today said the governor’s proposal poses several legal problems, is sure to be resisted by county governments, and threatens to decriminalize drugs in counties that do not contribute to Prop. 36.

   
January 10, 2007

Gov. Slashes Prop. 36 Funds Deeper:
$25m Less Than ’06-’07 Budget, $90m Below Need

Today’s budget proposal by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recommends a deep funding cut for California’s landmark, voter-approved treatment-instead-of-jail program, Proposition 36. The Drug Policy Alliance sharply criticized the proposal, saying the governor’s budget would undermine the success of the cost-effective program and shift more costs to already cash-strapped counties.

   
September 14, 2006 Injunction Blocks Controversial Drug Laws During Lawsuit
Alameda County Superior Court Judge Winifred Smith entered a preliminary injunction stopping Senate Bill 1137 from taking effect while the court considers its constitutionality. The bill, blocked by a temporary restraining order since July, would make controversial changes to Proposition 36, the treatment-instead-of-incarceration initiative passed by 61 percent of voters in 2000.
   
July 13, 2006 Judge Blocks Prop 36 Amendments
Alameda County Superior Court Judge Winifred Smith entered a temporary restraining order (TRO) stopping Senate Bill 1137 from taking effect. The bill, signed into law yesterday by the Governor, makes controversial changes to the treatment-instead-of-incarceration initiative, passed by 61 percent of voters in 2000.
   
July 12, 2006

Drug Policy Alliance Sues To Block Changes to Drug Treatment Law
The Governor signed into law Senate Bill 1137, which makes a series of controversial changes to the state’s successful treatment-instead-of-incarceration law, Proposition 36. SB 1137, the law signed today, threatens not only this popular voter-approved program but the entire initiative process. In response, the Drug Policy Alliance and the California Society of Addiction Medicine (CSAM) immediately began court action.

   
June 28, 2006 Legislators Willfully Gut Voter-Mandated Drug Treatment Program, Endanger Entire Initiative Process
In a vote late last night, the Legislature radically rewrote voter-approved Prop. 36, the state’s treatment-instead-of-incarceration law passed in 2000, to allow jailing of nonviolent drug offenders. The Drug Policy Alliance warned today that the trailer bill passed last night, SB 1137, will not withstand a court challenge which could begin as early as Monday, assuming the bill is signed into law by the Governor on Friday, along with the state budget.
   
June 27, 2006 Hostile Changes to Prop. 36 Up for Vote Tonight in Assembly
A popular and successful citizen initiative, Proposition 36, could be rewritten tonight when the California Assembly votes on a budget trailer bill, SB 1137. Supporters of the drug-treatment law say the trailer bill violates the intent of the program voters approved, and they will fight to prevent the bill from getting the 54 votes it needs to pass.
   
June 26, 2006 Drug Decriminalization Could Begin in California July 1
Beginning July 1, Californians convicted of using heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine or marijuana may simply be sent home. The Drug Policy Alliance warned today that drug treatment providers in the state are running out of money and that failing to allocate funding will decriminalize drug use.
   
May 12, 2006 Prop. 36 Grads Give Back
Graduates of Proposition 36, California’s treatment-instead-of-incarceration law, met with legislators in the greater San Diego area today to ask for their continued support of the program. Funding for Prop 36 drug treatment will expire on June 30, 2006, unless it is reallocated in the state budget due out in summer.
   
April 06 , 2006

Prop. 36 Saved California $1.4 Billion in First Five Years
A new state-sponsored study shows that Proposition 36, which requires treatment instead of incarceration for drug offenders, is saving $2.50 for every $1 invested - a total of $173.3 million in the first year alone. The Drug Policy Alliance said today that those savings, projected over the program's first five years, mean that California taxpayers have saved $1.4 billion by diverting drug users to treatment instead of incarcerating them.

   
January 11 , 2006 Gov’s Proposition 36 Funding Inadequate;Would Cut Drug Treatment Services
Addiction destroys families, making holidays like Father’s Day anything but a celebration for parents who have substance abuse problems and the children who love them. But since the passage of California’s landmark treatment instead of incarceration initiative, Proposition 36, thousands of families have been reunited as parents have broken the cycle of addiction. As the four year anniversary of Proposition 36 approaches this July 1, the human impact of the groundbreaking law is being seen all around California.
   
September 21 , 2005

Proposition 36 and Adult Drug Court Invite Press to Their Annual Picnic Titled Celebrating Success in Recovery 2005
Addiction destroys families, making holidays like Father’s Day anything but a celebration for parents who have substance abuse problems and the children who love them. But since the passage of California’s landmark treatment instead of incarceration initiative, Proposition 36, thousands of families have been reunited as parents have broken the cycle of addiction. As the four year anniversary of Proposition 36 approaches this July 1, the human impact of the groundbreaking law is being seen all around California.

   
June 13, 2005

Father’s Day: Dads Reunite with their Children after Years of Painful Separation
Addiction destroys families, making holidays like Father’s Day anything but a celebration for parents who have substance abuse problems and the children who love them. But since the passage of California’s landmark treatment instead of incarceration initiative, Proposition 36, thousands of families have been reunited as parents have broken the cycle of addiction. As the four year anniversary of Proposition 36 approaches this July 1, the human impact of the groundbreaking law is being seen all around California.

   
June 1, 2005

Fourth Anniversary of California’s Popular Treatment Instead of Incarceration Initiative (Prop. 36)
As the four year anniversary of Proposition 36 approaches this July 1, the human impact of the groundbreaking law is being seen in tens of thousands of families all around California. Graduates of the program are speaking out about how the voters' approval of the treatment-not-incarceration law led directly to positive changes in their own lives.

   
May 2, 2005

Bill that Would Gut Voter-Approved Treatment instead of Incarceration Initiative (Prop. 36) Back in Committee
Despite a legal opinion from the Legislature’s own attorneys that her bill would be in violation of the State Constitution, Senator Denise Ducheny of San Diego intends to bring the bill, SB 803, to the Senate Public Safety Committee Tuesday morning. It would radically overhaul Prop. 36, the treatment instead of incarceration initiative passed in 2000, by jailing drug addicts who are being treated as a result of that initiative.

   
April 18, 2005

Tomorrow Senate Committee Hearing: San Diego Senator Proposes to Gut Voter-Approved Treatment instead of Incarceration Initiative (Prop. 36)
In 2000, Californians voted overwhelmingly to reform their criminal justice system by enacting Proposition 36, the initiative requiring that people be offered the option of drug treatment instead of incarceration for their first two non-violent drug possession offenses. According to California Department of Corrections data, since Prop. 36’s inception, there are 7,337 fewer prisoners incarcerated for drug possession in California’s overloaded prison system.

   
December 20, 2004 Home for the Holidays: Proposition 36, California’s Treatment Instead of Incarceration Initiative, Helps Thousands of Graduates Reunite with Their Families
For many people who live on the streets or in prison, the holiday season is the hardest time of year. But since the passing of Proposition 36, California’s landmark treatment instead of incarceration initiative, thousands of non-violent drug offenders have had an opportunity to reunite with their families. For many ex-addicts who have graduated from the program, this Christmas is the first time in years that they have been able to celebrate with their families.
September 23, 2004 California Still Winning with “Drug Treatment, Not Jail” Initiative
California’s groundbreaking “drug treatment instead of incarceration” initiative, Proposition 36, has yielded excellent results in its first two years of implementation, according to a state-commissioned study from the UCLA, released on Thursday, September 23, 2004.
July 17, 2003 Prop. 36 Exceeds Expectations with Huge Savings
According to UCLA’s first annual study on Proposition 36 released July 2003, Proposition 36 is affecting more people than projected, and saving more money than was predicted. Experts from the Drug Policy Alliance and the Campaign for New Drug Policies estimate that, because of the high cost of incarceration in comparison to the low cost of treatment, California saved at least $275 million in taxpayer money during the first year of Prop 36 enforcement.
May 14, 2003 Prop. 36 'Realignment' Deferred, Probably Dead As a Concept
SACRAMENTO, May 14 - Gov. Gray Davis effectively conceded defeat today in his effort to force "realignment" of Prop. 36 funds and programs, with his May revision of the budget punting the concept until next year.
March 11, 2003 Prestigious, Bipartisan State Commission Evaluates CA Addiction Response
SACRAMENTO, CA, March 11 - The prestigious Little Hoover Commission - created in 1962 to investigate state government operations and promote efficiency, economy and improved service - today released a report on California’s strategies addressing drug addiction. The report, a resounding endorsement of Prop. 36, calls on policymakers to follow the voters’ lead by significantly expanding cost-effective and successful treatment options across the state.
February 13, 2003 Statewide Groups, Dozens of Health Care Professionals Oppose 'Realigning' Prop. 36
SACRAMENTO, Feb. 13 - In a show of force today, more than 175 individuals and organizations concerned with Prop. 36 implementation joined in a letter to the governor and legislative leaders to argue against changing the ballot measure's guaranteed funding and oversight provisions. [more]
February 12, 2003 Prop. 36 Sponsors 'Disappointed' by Davis Plan to Proceed with Realignment
SACRAMENTO, Feb. 12 -Davis Administration representatives yesterday told Prop. 36 supporters that they plan to proceed with "realignment" of funds and programs begun by the initiative, effectively ending voter-guaranteed funding levels and state oversight of the program. [more]
February 7, 2003 Prop. 36 Supporters Warn Governor: Budget Plan Is Illegal
SACRAMENTO, Feb. 7 - Governor Gray Davis is being warned today that a part of his budget plan would violate voter-approved Proposition 36. Supporters of the law, requiring drug treatment instead of jail for drug possession, vowed to sue if the proposal is not withdrawn. [more]
January 16, 2003 Gov’s Budget Plan Guts Prop. 36
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 16 — Sponsors of voter-approved Proposition 36, which requires drug treatment instead of jail time for nonviolent drug offenders, say that Gov. Gray Davis’ budget proposal would gut key provisions of the law. However, they say the initiative simply cannot be amended in the fashion Davis has proposed, and they urged him to drop Prop. 36 programs from the proposed “realignment” of other state programs to local governments. [more]
September 3, 2002 Bill to Allow Proposition 36 Clients to Receive Food Stamps Passes California Legislature and Goes to the Governor’s Desk
The proponents of California’s Proposition 36 - that allows low-level, non-violent, drug possession offenders’ treatment instead of incarceration - applauded the California Legislature for passing AB 1947 (Carl Washington, D-Paramount) and urge Governor Davis to sign it into law. [more]
May 1, 2002 Early Reports Indicate Prop. 36 is Working as Intended
The California Department of Corrections (CDC) has reported that the state’s population of women inmates has dropped 10 percent in the past year. Last week, the CDC acknowledged that this decline is due in large part to Proposition 36, California’s groundbreaking initiative that diverts people convicted of nonviolent drug possession into treatment instead of prison. [more]
August 31, 2001 Prop. 36 Advocates to Educate Californians About Treatment During National Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery Month -- September, 2001
Advocates of Proposition 36 - the new California initiative that allows for treatment instead of jail for non-violent drug offenders - issued 'report cards' today, grading 11 counties encompassing 75 percent of the state population on the quality of their implementation plans. [more]
July 16, 2001 Downey Jr. to Receive Treatment, Not Prison For Non-Violent Drug Possession
Under the terms of California’s landmark Proposition 36, Robert Downey Jr. will not be going to prison for his drug addiction, a court ruled today. The actor, who entered a plea of “no contest” to cocaine possession charges, was instead sentenced to one year of residential drug treatment. [more]
   
June 27, 2001 Prop. 36 Watchdog Issues 'Report Cards' on California Counties' Implementation Plans
Advocates of Proposition 36 - the new California initiative that allows for treatment instead of jail for non-violent drug offenders - issued 'report cards' today, grading 11 counties encompassing 75 percent of the state population on the quality of their implementation plans. [more]

See also: Prop 36 In the News


 
Common Sense for Drug Policy
 
California Society of Addiction Medicine
 
California State Association of Counties
 

Read commentary from Oliver H., a Prop 36 graduate.

 
Get the Facts
Over a dozen Proposition 36 fact sheets are available for download. Topics include: the Effectiveness of Drug Treatment, Drug Courts/Deferred Entry, and the California Correctional System.
 
County-by-County
breakdowns of the 2000 initiative votes
 
For background on the Prop. 36 campaign and other votes nationwide for drug policy reform, see:

Contact Lists
County Lead Agencies
and Contacts
Parole Region Contact
Probation Contacts

 

     

 
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