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Pants on Fire

Election 2008

Dear friends,

The prison guards' union is spending millions to defeat California's Proposition 5 and to make sure the number of people behind bars just keeps growing.

And they're lying to make that happen.

Here's your chance to fight back by helping us get this ad on the air. Donate now.

Every union has a mission to fight for better pay and working conditions.

But it's despicable when anyone sees their interests best served by locking up as many of their fellow citizens as possible.

The prison guards' union is lying to beat Prop. 5 -- the ballot initiative we drafted that would reduce prison overcrowding, expand treatment and rehabilitation for nonviolent drug offenders and cut billions of dollars in state spending.

Prop. 5 is in serious danger on Election Day because the prison guards' union has mounted an insidious campaign on TV that tells voters anything but the truth.

Help us make sure every voter in California sees the truth.

And please keep in mind: This is not just about California.  If Prop. 5 wins, it will provide a new model for the nation.

Please give whatever you can now to ensure that millions of people see this ad before Election Day.

Thank you,

Ethan Nadelmann
Executive Director
Drug Policy Alliance Network 

P.S. Don't miss this last chance to be a part of the biggest prison and sentencing reform in U.S. history. Give now.

Localização: 
CA
United States

Press Release: Prison Guards Blasted on New 'Yes on 5' TV Spot: Union Has Spent $2 Million to Fight Prop. 5

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 29, 2008 CONTACT: Margaret Dooley-Sammuli at (213) 291-4190, Tommy McDonald at (510) 229-5215 Prison Guards Blasted in New 'Yes on 5' TV Spot CCPOA Has Spent Almost $2 million to Fight Prop. 5 Why? Overcrowded Prisons = Overtime Pay LOS ANGELES - California's prison guards union has provided most of the money lined up against Proposition 5, a drug treatment measure that would reduce prison overcrowding and forestall $2.5 billion worth of new prison construction. Today the Yes on 5 campaign struck back with a new TV spot that highlights the prison guards' contributions and their financial interest in defeating Prop. 5. Titled "Party's Over," the new Yes on 5 spot begins, "Our prisons are overcrowded. And prison guards are overjoyed!" The ad then explains that, for prison guards, overcrowding means more overtime pay. "That's why the prison guards want to stop Proposition 5, and are spending millions against it," says the ad. "Tell the prison guards the party's over. Vote Yes on 5." Margaret Dooley-Sammuli, deputy campaign manager for Yes on 5, said, "We know that California voters will be outraged to learn that the people paying for those No on 5 ads are the people who benefit the most from overcrowded prisons. Let's not forget, it is California taxpayers who shell out $10 billion a year for a broken prison system and enormous overtime pay for guards." The prison guards union, formally the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA), contributed $1 million to the official No on 5 campaign on Oct. 14, then last Friday made another $825,000 "independent expenditure" contribution of TV airtime to oppose Prop. 5. This means the prison guards have provided 75% of the money behind the $2.4 million in airtime purchased so far to oppose Prop. 5 Dooley-Sammuli added, "If you want to know why our prison system is dysfunctional, look no further than the checkbook of the CCPOA. The prison guards will fight any reform that might threaten their bottom line. It's time for the voters to stand up to the 800-pound gorilla of state politics. We can do that by voting Yes on Prop. 5." ### To view the ad: http://www.prop5yes.com/partys-over Broadcast-quality copies of the new Yes on 5 ad are available on request.
Localização: 
CA
United States

DPA: Tell Your California Friends to Vote "Yes on 5"

 

Election 2008

Dear friends,

President Bush’s Drug Czar and the powerful California prison guards' union are both turning their guns on the biggest U.S. drug policy reform since alcohol Prohibition was repealed 75 years ago. 

Don’t let them get away with it. Tell everyone you know in California to vote YES on Prop. 5!

Proposition 5 on the California ballot would dramatically reduce the role of prison in dealing with drug offenders.

It’s also the only measure on the ballot in California that will save taxpayers billions.  (That’s not just our opinion.  It’s the conclusion of the California Legislative Analyst’s Office.)
 
But the Drug Czar and the prison guards' union don’t give a damn about soaking taxpayers to pay for a failed drug war.  And they could care less about giving people with drug problems a chance to get treatment and rehabilitation instead of a prison cell. 

Now we just found out that the “lock ‘em all up” lobby is raising big bucks to defeat Prop. 5 from the casinos, beer distributors and drug war fanatics.

All that money is going for TV ads using the same old scare tactics that fueled the war on drugs in the first place. But on Election Day, we can show them how wrong they are -- if we get voters to the polls in support of Prop. 5.
 
No matter where you live, we bet you know at least a few Californians (or at least someone who does)! Will you help get out the vote for Prop. 5? Do it the easy way -- forward this email
 
Check out our TV ads and then share the link with your friends in California so they hear the truth about Prop. 5. Coming from you, the message will carry a lot of weight. You can help us counter the millions of dollars the prison guards’ union and their friends are spending on dishonest and scare tactic ads.
 
You’ll be in good company. Everyone from the League of Women Voters of California to the California Nurses Association to the California Federation of Teachers to the Consumer Federation of California supports Prop. 5.  So does former Secretary of State George Shultz.  They all know Prop. 5 will save money and save lives.

Sincerely,
 
Ethan Nadelmann
Executive Director
Drug Policy Alliance Network
 
P.S. Even if you don’t live in California, you can help put ads on TV! Check them out here and support the Prop. 5 ad campaign with a donation!

Localização: 
CA
United States

Press Release: New Yes on 5 TV Ads Focus on Youth Drug Treatment

[Courtesy of DPA] For Immediate Release: October 24, 2008 Contact: Margaret Dooley-Sammuli at (213) 291-4190 or Tommy McDonald at (510) 229-5215 Prop. 5 Supporters Release New TV Ads, Focus on Youth Drug Treatment Under Prop. 5 LOS ANGELES – Supporters of Proposition 5, the Nonviolent Offender Rehabilitation Act, today unveiled two new TV spots intended to begin running statewide next week. Both Yes on 5 spots highlight the measure’s drug treatment programs for young people. If passed, Prop. 5 would provide $65 million per year to counties to make drug treatment available to at-risk youth under the age of 18. Virtually no publicly funded treatment is available now for young people. The first Yes on 5 spot, titled “Warden,” features Jeanne Woodford, former warden of San Quentin State Prison and former Director of the California Department of Corrections. Against a backdrop of images of San Quentin, she speaks of her 25 years working at the prison, where she began as a prison guard. “Let me tell you,” Woodford says, “too many of the men I dealt with started out as kids with drug problems. But California doesn’t have treatment for kids.” She goes on to say that the youth treatment provisions of Prop. 5 are one of its main draws for her. “I can’t tell you how good I feel,” Woodford says, “when I think of all those kids who will never wind up in prison.” The second Yes on 5 spot offers a dramatic story of a young person who has slipped into addiction and criminal activity as a result of a drug problem. In “Rewind,” we take a look back at what happened: “When he was 14,” the narrator says, “he had a drug problem. But there was no drug treatment available. Now, we have to spend forty-six thousand dollars a year to keep him in prison.” Prop. 5 is “a better way” because it offers drug treatment to young people, the narrator says. The spot then ends by showing the two possible outcomes – in one frame, the youth is shown in a mug shot, headed for jail. In the other, he is wearing a cap and gown, graduating from college. Margaret Dooley-Sammuli, deputy campaign manager for Yes on 5, said, “Prop. 5 would fill a huge gap in drug treatment services in California. It is shocking how little we do now for young people with drug problems. These ads highlight for voters one of the most important aspects of Prop. 5, something almost everyone can identify with.” These ads, and others, are in final testing stages. The youth ads can be viewed online today: http://www.prop5yes.com/campaign-ads-videos ###
Localização: 
CA
United States

LEAP: "We have a major fight ahead of us..."

Dear friends,

LEAP fully supports Proposition 5 on the November 4th California ballot.  Please read the following message from Ethan Nadelmann, Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance, and vote for Proposition 5 if you live in California (if you are outside California, please support DPA in any manner you choose):

“I’ve never invested as much in anything as I have in Proposition 5, our ballot initiative in California.  If we win on Election Day, this will be the biggest reform of prisons and sentencing in U.S. history – and the biggest reform of drug policy – since the repeal of alcohol Prohibition seventy-five years ago. 

But we both know you can’t make a change this big without stirring up intense opposition from vested interests.  Last week the powerful prison guards union contributed $1 million to the opposition campaign.  That’s on top of hundreds of thousands of dollars from Indian tribes/casinos with close links to law enforcement as well as $100,000 from the California Beer and Beverage Distributors.

And I just found out that today the Bush administration’s drug czar is in Sacramento to announce his opposition to Proposition 5.

If we win, the new law will effectively transfer $1 billion annually from prison and parole to treatment and rehabilitation – and save taxpayers $2.5 billion because new prisons will not need to be built.  The result will be fewer drug and other nonviolent offenders behind bars, and also reductions in crime and recidivism.  The initiative even includes a sensible provision to reduce the penalty for possession of small amounts of marijuana to the equivalent of a traffic ticket.

This initiative, unlike most, was drafted with keen attention to decades of empirical research on what works best in reducing incarceration, crime and recidivism and enabling people with drug problems to get their lives together.

I am not instinctively a fan of the ballot initiative process.  But it seems to me that the process is ideally used when the legislature and/or the governor are unable or unwilling to enact worthy legislation, which is favored by a substantial majority of the public, and which advances the interests of those people who are most disempowered in the legislative process. That is clearly the case here. 

There has never been a return on investment in major reform of drug policy, prisons and sentencing like this.  Raising the millions of dollars needed to draft this initiative, get it on the ballot, and hopefully win it has been no easy task – and I am still trying to raise the final million with two weeks to go until Election Day. 

So we have a lot riding on this initiative – not just for DPA but also for the hundreds of thousands of people who will either sit in prison or get a second chance, depending on whether or not Prop 5 wins on Election Day.

Our opponents think they can defeat Prop 5 by resorting to the same old scare tactics that filled the prisons in the first place.  But we know we’ll win if voters focus on the bottom line, which is that Prop 5 will reduce prison overcrowding, reduce crime and recidivism, directly help huge numbers of people, and save taxpayers billions of dollars.

Please tell everyone you know in California to vote for Prop 5.  Forward this email if you like.  And if you think you can help in any other way, please let me know soon.  We MUST win Prop 5.

Many, many thanks.

Very truly yours,

Ethan

P.S. The campaign’s website is www.prop5yes.com.”

Localização: 
CA
United States

Prop. 5 May Be Last Chance to Reform Prisons

[Courtesy of Yes on Proposition 5] The ills of California's prison system have been diagnosed in one expert report after another, but the prescriptions for change have been ignored. Now, with Proposition 5, voters have the opportunity to enact a range of reforms recommended by experts that would reduce overcrowding and improve rehabilitation. "The prison lobby has dictated criminal justice policies for decades. Look at the results: prisons are stuffed to twice their capacity and the recidivism rate is twice the national average," said Dan Macallair, executive director of the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice. "Prop. 5 takes a different approach to reduce recidivism – one recommended by criminal justice policy experts from around the country." Voters will decide on Prop. 5 just two weeks before a trial begins in a lawsuit that could result in an outright takeover of California's prison system by a panel of three federal judges. But, as with every prior effort to reform California's prison system, law enforcement groups and the prison guards' union are fighting tooth and nail to prevent reform. The prison guards recently poured $1 million into the No on 5 campaign. "After 25 years in San Quentin, I know how broken our corrections system is. Prop. 5 is the breath of fresh air this system needs," said Jeanne Woodford, former director of the California Department of Corrections under Gov. Schwarzenegger. "I am surprised to see a law enforcement organization that is responsible for public safety opposing an initiative that will not only reduce cost but will also dramatically improve public safety." "We have let law enforcement drive our response to addiction for long enough – and we are all, quite literally, paying the price," said Margaret Dooley-Sammuli, deputy campaign manager of Yes on 5. "Now it's finally time to listen to policy experts. By reducing addiction, we'll prevent crime and cut costs to the state." Prop. 5 is endorsed the League of Women Voters of California, the California Nurses Association, California Federation of Teachers and the California Society of Addiction Medicine, the California State Conference of the NAACP and the National Council of la Raza, among many others. The nonpartisan legislative analyst calculates Prop. 5 will reduce incarceration costs by $1 billion annually and save taxpayers $2.5 billion in reduced prison-construction costs. This doesn't include savings related to reduced crime, fewer social services costs (e.g. emergency room visits, welfare), and increased individual productivity. For more information, visit www.prop5yes.com.
Localização: 
CA
United States

Press Release: Drug Czar Backs CA Prison Guards, Opposes Unified Treatment Community

For Immediate Release: October 21, 2008 Contact: Margaret Dooley-Sammuli at (213) 291-4190 or Tommy McDonald at (510) 229-5215 Drug Czar Backs California Prison Guards, Opposes Unified Treatment Community SACRAMENTO – President George W. Bush’s drug czar today announced his opposition to Proposition 5, the Nonviolent Offender Rehabilitation Act (NORA), which will expand access to drug treatment for young people and nonviolent offenders – and make rehabilitation a priority of the state corrections system once again. “The drug czar is going against the whole of California’s treatment and prevention community to line up with law enforcement. We have tried incarceration as a primary response to addictive illness for decades and failed utterly,” said Dr. Judy Martin, president of the California Society of Addiction Medicine. “The treatment field enthusiastically supports Prop. 5 because it marks a historic shift away from the drug czar’s failed approach and towards a proven one - treatment.” “The drug czar’s rhetorical support for treatment is obviously just a fig leaf for the same old law enforcement approach. This hardline drug czar from a lame-duck administration is now opposing California’s entire treatment community,” said Margaret Dooley-Sammuli, deputy campaign manager of Yes on 5. “Back in 2000, the previous drug czar opposed Prop. 36 and that didn’t matter to voters. It’s hard to imagine President Bush’s drug czar having any more influence.” Supporters of Prop. 5 include the League of Women Voters of California, the California Nurses Association, the California Federation of Teachers, the Consumer Federation of California – among many others. Opponents are overwhelmingly law enforcement organizations, with $1 million in with funding from the California prison guards union. The Legislative Analyst’s Office calculates that Prop. 5 will lower incarceration costs by $1 billion each year and will cut another $2.5 billion in state costs for prison construction. This doesn’t include savings related to reduced crime, lower social costs (e.g. emergency room visits, child protective services, welfare), and increased individual productivity. ********** The campaign will make available treatment advocates in support of Prop. 5. For those contacts, please contact Tommy McDonald at (510) 229-5215. For more on Prop. 5, visit www.Prop5Yes.org. ###
Localização: 
CA
United States

Addiction Treatment: Canadian NAOMI Study Finds Heroin Maintenance Safe, Cheap, Effective

Last Friday, researchers with the North American Opiate Maintenance Initiative (NAOMI) unveiled their long-awaited research results and said they provided new evidence that opiate maintenance for hard-core addicts works and that heroin was more effective than methadone. The results were released only after this month's Canadian federal elections, leading some to charge they had been intentionally suppressed to not hurt the winning Conservatives at the polls.

"Our data show remarkable retention rates and significant improvements in illicit heroin use, illegal activity and health for participants receiving injection assisted therapy, as well as those assigned to optimized methadone maintenance," said Dr. Martin Schechter, NAOMI's principal investigator. "Prior to NAOMI, all of the study participants had not benefited from repeated standard addiction treatments. Society had basically written them off as impossible to treat."

The data traces the outcomes for participants in the three-year project that treated addicts in Vancouver and Montreal. It covers 251 participants.

Some 88% of addicts in "heroin-assisted treatment," or heroin maintenance, stayed in the project after one year, while 54% receiving methadone stayed in. Of particular note, participants being given hydromorphone (Dilaudid) instead of heroin in a double-blind study could not distinguish between the two. According to the researchers, Dilaudid, an opiate licensed for use as a pain reliever, appeared to be equally as effective as heroin, but the study was not designed to test that proposition, and more study is needed.

Illicit heroin use declined by 70%, while the number of participants who reported committing illegal acts declined from 70% to 36%. Similarly, the amount of time spent on illegal activities and money spent on obtaining drugs declined by almost half. In fact, researchers noted that participants who were once spending an average $1,500 on drugs were spending only $300-$500 a month by study's end.

"We now have evidence to show that heroin-assisted therapy is a safe and effective treatment for people with chronic heroin addiction who have not benefited from previous treatments. A combination of optimal therapies -- as delivered in the NAOMI clinics -- can attract those most severely addicted to heroin, keep them in treatment and more importantly, help to improve their social and medical conditions," said Schechter.

ARRIVE's 20-year Anniversary Gathering

The pioneering drug program, ARRIVE, will celebrate their 20-year anniversary of serving the New York City community in its fight against drug addiction and HIV/AIDS at a gathering at Pacha nightclub (618 W. 46th St.) on Thursday, October 23 from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. ARRIVE started in a church basement in 1988 in an attempt to help drug users who were contracting HIV through dirty syringes. In 1990, Exponents was founded as a non-profit organization to keep the ARRIVE pilot project alive. The organization has 40 staff members, the majority of whom have histories of addiction and incarceration and are graduates of ARRIVE. With more than 8,700 graduates, the cutting-edge program differs from many of the status quo treatment programs by challenging the notion that people have to be coerced into treatment by the threat of jail. The program has always been voluntary and has better results in getting people through their program than programs that favor the punitive, coercive treatment models. The ARRIVE program also doesn’t demand abstinence from drugs in order to access their help. “ARRIVE changed the paradigm of how we treat and help drug users and the response has been nothing short of phenomenal. Over the years, thousands of inner-city drug users voluntarily showed up for the program and over 75% of them graduated.", said Howard Josepher, founder of Exponents and an ex-offender who overcame his heroin addiction 40 years ago. “We now have more that 8,700 graduates and not a single one of them was coerced or mandated to attend. Our experience has been, contrary to popular belief, that addicts will seek out treatment if it is presented in a non-punitive and non-judgmental manner.” Each week, hundreds of New Yorkers participate in Exponents’ full range of programs, which include: recovery readiness (active users), drug treatment and recovery services. Other services offered include job skill training, support groups, stress reduction, health and wellness information, acupuncture; relapse prevention techniques, help with benefits and advocacy and communication skill trainings. Another special aspect of Exponents is the focus on building community and empowering through advocacy. Exponents’ participants and graduates have been on the front lines of demonstrations and activism whether it be organizing against New York’s draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws or pushing for access to clean syringes to reduce HIV transmission. “ARRIVE has been such an integral part of my recovery, support, career, and life,” said Bobbi Hart Charles. “I walked into the Exponents’ office on Beach Street June 1991 and seventeen years later I am still clean. As a direct result of the counseling and encouragement that I received at Exponents, I returned to school and obtained a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, specializing in Healthcare Administration and Policy. Norbert and I just celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary and I still feel like a newly wed! As I look back over my life, and I think things over, I can truly say that I’ve been blessed and I have a testimony. ARRIVE is a very large part of that testimony!”
Data: 
Thu, 10/23/2008 - 6:00pm - 10:00pm
Localização: 
618 W. 46th St.
New York, NY 10036
United States

Press Release: Innovative Addiction Treatment Program Celebrates 20th Anniversary

[Courtesy of Drug Policy Alliance] For Immediate Release: October 16, 2008 For More Info: Tony Newman: (646) 335-5384 ARRIVE, an Innovative Addiction Treatment Program, Celebrates its 20-year Anniversary at October 23 Gathering Cutting-edge Program Challenges Notions that Threat of Prison and Abstinence are Required to Receive Help New York Center will Honor its more than 8,700 Graduates and Visionary Leader, Howard Josepher The pioneering drug program, ARRIVE, will celebrate their 20-year anniversary of serving the New York City community in its fight against drug addiction and HIV/AIDS at a gathering at Pacha nightclub (618 W. 46th St.) on Thursday, October 23 from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. ARRIVE started in a church basement in 1988 in an attempt to help drug users who were contracting HIV through dirty syringes. In 1990, Exponents was founded as a non-profit organization to keep the ARRIVE pilot project alive. The organization has 40 staff members, the majority of whom have histories of addiction and incarceration and are graduates of ARRIVE. With more than 8,700 graduates, the cutting-edge program differs from many of the status quo treatment programs by challenging the notion that people have to be coerced into treatment by the threat of jail. The program has always been voluntary and has better results in getting people through their program than programs that favor the punitive, coercive treatment models. The ARRIVE program also doesn’t demand abstinence from drugs in order to access their help. “ARRIVE changed the paradigm of how we treat and help drug users and the response has been nothing short of phenomenal. Over the years, thousands of inner-city drug users voluntarily showed up for the program and over 75% of them graduated.", said Howard Josepher, founder of Exponents and an ex-offender who overcame his heroin addiction 40 years ago. “We now have more that 8,700 graduates and not a single one of them was coerced or mandated to attend. Our experience has been, contrary to popular belief, that addicts will seek out treatment if it is presented in a non-punitive and non-judgmental manner.” Each week, hundreds of New Yorkers participate in Exponents’ full range of programs, which include: recovery readiness (active users), drug treatment and recovery services. Other services offered include job skill training, support groups, stress reduction, health and wellness information, acupuncture; relapse prevention techniques, help with benefits and advocacy and communication skill trainings. Another special aspect of Exponents is the focus on building community and empowering through advocacy. Exponents’ participants and graduates have been on the front lines of demonstrations and activism whether it be organizing against New York’s draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws or pushing for access to clean syringes to reduce HIV transmission. “ARRIVE has been such an integral part of my recovery, support, career, and life,” said Bobbi Hart Charles. “I walked into the Exponents’ office on Beach Street June 1991 and seventeen years later I am still clean. As a direct result of the counseling and encouragement that I received at Exponents, I returned to school and obtained a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, specializing in Healthcare Administration and Policy. Norbert and I just celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary and I still feel like a newly wed! As I look back over my life, and I think things over, I can truly say that I’ve been blessed and I have a testimony. ARRIVE is a very large part of that testimony!”
Localização: 
NY
United States

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