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Mandatory jail sentences for nonviolent drug offenses to end in 2022

New law aims to replace mass incarceration with probation, rehabilitation and treatment

Stock image courtesy Ekaterina Bolovtsova/pexels.com

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Oct. 5 signed a bill that ends mandatory minimum jail sentences for nonviolent drug offenses.

Senate Bill 73, which is authored by state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, will help end mass incarceration and what Wiener called the state's war on drugs, he said in a joint statement released by the Governor's office.

"Our prisons and jails are filled with people — particularly from communities of color — who have committed low-level, nonviolent drug offenses and who would be much better served by non-carceral options like probation, rehabilitation and treatment," he said.

The legislation goes into effect Jan. 1.

The law will allow courts to grant probation or suspend sentences — a practice currently prohibited by state law — for people convicted of nonviolent drug offenses and would impose state-mandated programs, according to an analysis by the state's legislative's counsel. Once the new law is in effect, it will also give judges more sentencing options, Wiener said.

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Co-authors of the legislation include Assembly members Wendy Carrillo, D-Los Angeles; Sydney Kamlager, D-Los Angeles; David Chiu, D-San Francisco; Buffy Wicks, D-Oakland and Sen. Steven Bradford, D-Los Angeles. The bill was sponsored by the Drug Policy Alliance.

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Mandatory jail sentences for nonviolent drug offenses to end in 2022

New law aims to replace mass incarceration with probation, rehabilitation and treatment

by /

Uploaded: Wed, Oct 6, 2021, 12:50 pm
Updated: Fri, Oct 8, 2021, 8:21 am

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Oct. 5 signed a bill that ends mandatory minimum jail sentences for nonviolent drug offenses.

Senate Bill 73, which is authored by state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, will help end mass incarceration and what Wiener called the state's war on drugs, he said in a joint statement released by the Governor's office.

"Our prisons and jails are filled with people — particularly from communities of color — who have committed low-level, nonviolent drug offenses and who would be much better served by non-carceral options like probation, rehabilitation and treatment," he said.

The legislation goes into effect Jan. 1.

The law will allow courts to grant probation or suspend sentences — a practice currently prohibited by state law — for people convicted of nonviolent drug offenses and would impose state-mandated programs, according to an analysis by the state's legislative's counsel. Once the new law is in effect, it will also give judges more sentencing options, Wiener said.

Co-authors of the legislation include Assembly members Wendy Carrillo, D-Los Angeles; Sydney Kamlager, D-Los Angeles; David Chiu, D-San Francisco; Buffy Wicks, D-Oakland and Sen. Steven Bradford, D-Los Angeles. The bill was sponsored by the Drug Policy Alliance.

Comments

Julian Guiterrez
Registered user
another community
on Oct 6, 2021 at 4:10 pm
Julian Guiterrez, another community
Registered user
on Oct 6, 2021 at 4:10 pm

This program will not work over the long haul. It is potentially too expensive & the actual percentage of reformed substance abusers will not be significant as old habits are oftentimes hard to break.

It takes serious willpower and most substance abusers do not possess this trait.

SB73 will also remand more homeless meth and fentanyl addicts to the streets and many will not even bother to show up for or complete their required diversion programs.


felix
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 7, 2021 at 6:34 am
felix, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2021 at 6:34 am

I welcome this change in direction. Our incarceration rates in state and country are unsupportable morally and a waste financially.

Mandatory minimum sentencing is bad policy and the more we eliminate it the better for justice to be realized.






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