The law changes the drug treatment program created by proposition 36 – allowing judges the option to briefly jail relapsed drug offenders…and to keep them in treatment longer. Judge Stephen Manley with the Santa Clara County Superior Court says the changes are crucial:
“There was not a means for judges to motivate defendants to stay in treatment and to enter treatment in the first place. Many times defendants looked at treatment as a get out of jail free card.”
Nikos Leverenz with the drug policy alliance says they’re requesting an injunction against the changes – which he calls a legislative re-write of an initiative.
“We believe we’re not just protecting proposition 36. We believe we’re protecting every initiative ever passed in California.
Leverenz says even brief incarceration goes against the intention of proposition 36.