Pubdate: Wed, 8 Oct 2008
Source: San Diego Union Tribune (CA)
Copyright: 2008 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.
Note: Seldom prints LTEs from outside it's circulation area.
Author: Terrie Best


Some will say Proposition 36, which calls for the treatment instead of
incarceration regime approved by 61 percent of California voters in
2000, has failed. They will say folks dropped out, didn't complete
treatment, never showed up and that represents failure.

In defense of the proposition, I've seen the consequences for people
who failed. Those who couldn't or wouldn't complete treatment went to
jail or were mandated into residential treatment programs where
oversight was more intensive. They did not just slip through the
cracks and escape consequences.

The difference the proposition makes is that all drug offenders who
qualify get a shot at treatment. It works for some, not for others.
The ones it doesn't work for moved into our jails and prisons, albeit
a little bit wiser and with more resources. When and if the time comes
to quit, they'll know where to turn.

I think it's better this way. And I think Proposition 5, Nonviolent
Drug offenses, Sentencing, Parole and Rehabilitation on the ballot
this year, builds on this improvement. It will provide money for more
treatment facilities. We need residential treatment facilities with
shorter waiting lists so judges can mandate those who appear to be
failing into residential programs before they end up in jails and
prisons. Whom would you rather move in next door to you, an addict who
had treatment or an addict who spent a year in prison being treated
like an animal with violent felons?

Please vote Yes on Proposition 5.

Terrie Best

Golden Hill
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake