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Drop in drug courts and rehab may be unintended consequence of Prop 47

Hand with pills
Hand with pills
Daniel Foster/Flickr

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Since passing in November, Prop 47, which reclassified most drug possession and lower value property crimes as misdemeanors, has helped empty out California’s overcrowded jails and prisons, but it may also have led to a decline in the number of drug possession defendants choosing court-ordered drug treatment.  

With shorter sentences in county jails, there's one less incentive for addicts to do rehab. In Orange County, about half the numbers of addicts are signing up for treatment as were before Prop 47. Without the threat of a felony conviction, how can courts get more addicts to go to treatment?

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Lenore Anderson, executive director of Californians for Safety and Justice, which coordinated the campaign to pass Proposition 47, and before that, she was Chief of Policy at the San Francisco District Attorney's Office

Michael Ramos, District Attorney, San Bernardino County; he opposed Prop 47