California Proposition 36
Substance Abuse And Crime Prevention Act Of 2000
SECTION 2. Findings and Declarations
The People of the State of California hereby find and declare all of the following:
(a) Substance abuse treatment is a proven public safety and health measure. Non-violent, drug dependent criminal offenders who receive drug treatment are much less likely to abuse drugs and commit future crimes, and are likelier to live healthier, more stable and more productive lives.
(b) Community safety and health are promoted, and taxpayer dollars are saved, when nonviolent persons convicted of drug possession or drug use are provided appropriate community-based treatment instead of incarceration.
(c) In 1996, Arizona voters by a 2-1 margin passed the Drug Medicalization, Prevention, and Control Act which diverted non-violent drug offenders into drug treatment and education services rather than incarceration. According to a Report Card prepared by the Arizona Supreme Court, the Arizona law: is "resulting in safer communities and more substance abusing probationers in recovery," has already saved state taxpayers millions of dollars, and is helping more than 75% of program participants to remain drug free.
SECTION 3. Purpose and Intent
The People of the State of California hereby declare their purpose and intent in enacting this Act to be as follows:
(a) To divert from incarceration into community-based substance abuse treatment programs non-violent defendants, probationers and parolees charged with simple drug possession or drug use offenses;
(b) To halt the wasteful expenditure of hundreds of millions of dollars each year on the incarceration – and re-incarceration – of non-violent drug users who would be better served by community-based treatment; and
(c) To enhance public safety by reducing drug-related crime and preserving jails and prison cells for serious and violent offenders, and to improve public health by reducing drug abuse and drug dependence through proven and effective drug treatment strategies.
The proposition amended California Penal Code 1210, 3063.1 and California Health And Safety Code 10.8, mandating probation and drug treatment rather than incarceration. Since most first time drug offenses fall under the purview of Prop 36, there are more convictions eligible for PC 1203.4 expungement due to the fact that these cases do not now entail state prison in the sentencing.
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