Treatment Not Jail: California Governor Proposes Cutting Proposition 36 Drug Treatment Funds

As part of his 2007-08 budget released this week, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed cutting funding for the state's treatment-not-jail program, Proposition 36. Under the six-year-old program, people charged with drug possession can be diverted into drug treatment instead of being sent to prison. Some 140,000 people have entered treatment under Prop. 36, saving the state an estimated $1.3 billion dollars in prison costs.

Passed by the voters in 2000, Prop. 36 mandated that the state allocate $120 million a year for its first five years. Last year, the first year in which the legislature had to set funding, it approved $145 million for Prop. 36. Schwarzenegger's proposed budget is thus a $25 million dollar decrease from the previous year. But it is almost $90 million less than the $209.3 million the California Coalition of Alcohol and Drug Associations estimated is needed to "adequately address the treatment needs."

To make matters worse, Schwarzenegger's proposal would funnel $60 million of the $120 million into the year-old Substance Abuse Offender Treatment Program (OTP), which requires counties to come up with matching funds before they can get any of the state funds. Cash-starved county governments will have to come up with the money or they will lose out. The counties have already said they will challenge that requirement, and the measure could lead to lawsuits by counties or drug offenders if treatment is not made available.

Schwarzenegger's proposed cuts come despite a UCLA analysis showing that taxpayers saved $2.50 for every dollar invested in the program. Look for a funding battle in Sacramento over Prop. 36 this year.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Why ignore voters wishes & UCLA analysis saying we save money?

I don't understand why this program would be cut when it seems to be saving us money. It's cheaper to support people outside of prison. Some may be say drug users are getting what they deserve, but we have to look at the cost to society if this program is not funded.

Saves money? That's the problem.

The program isn't being cut because it wasn't cost effective. Diverting people out of the prison system and into the treatment system saves money big time and avoids the ruining of peoples lives, but then who would be left to put in jail to feed your country's (I'm writing from Canada) prison system. Your country's prison industry is what's behind the US having higher incarceration rates than China, or any other country for that matter. Then when you look at your out of control crime statistics which don't even begin to compare to any country with any semblance of order, now we're talking crappy value for money. As long as your corrupt government can shift the tax burden of this draconian and wasteful system to the idiot middle class and as long as the lower class is the primary target of your witchunt of a legal system, it will continue. It's called class warfare and it's how the shit keeps floating to the top.

Prop 36

Finally, The Government has allowed the people to vote in a working solution to the problem of overcrowded jails and drug addiction at the same time. The only people that I know of that do not see drug rehabilition programs as a possitive, are addicts still in their addictions and plagued by denial.
So whats up, Arnold. Whats your excuse?

prop 36,Govenor slashing funding

I think that the governor is making a huge mistake this program has really helped me to get a grip my addictions if it wasnt for prop 36 I would still be in actively in my addicton. I think tha prop 36 is wonderful program.


Why do they pick on people that are here legally,but not citizens and put them in detention camps, till they decide if they should be deported? My son was here for 46 years and asked to be deported as he served his time in High Desert Prison, for not appearing in court and having dirty durg test. He came here at age 2, and was never violent. They would not give him a public defender, or medical care. They pulled his teeth in prison and he has Hep-C and could not get medical help, I think that stinks. USA only cares about money, Shame on this country. You need to have feelings for humans. My daughter is paralyzed,and I have an aeortia anuyism. We will never see my son again.You THIS USA KILL us before we are DEAD.
Georgianna Hamilton
P.O. Box 805
Paradise, Calif. 95967

Testing on prisoners

Why dont we test of cures on prisoners who are being killed off instead of testing it on animals like the monkies. Althought they are similar to human, they are not excat. If we test it on other human, then we might be able to find a cure for a disease.
Is it inhumanie, yes, but isnt killing them with a electic chair the same thing
Pleas answer back.
Thank You

Do u mean Why don’t the

Do u mean
Why don’t the U.S government do testing on criminals who are going to get electrocuted or sent to death. Instead of testing on animals like monkeys, scientist can test on prisoners. Although monkeys are close to human in DNA, they are not exact with human. Also, human can be more easy control then monkeys.
Is this inhumane you say? Yes, but isn’t it inhumane to put someone in the electrical chair too?

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