Reduced court penalties lead fewer to opt for drug treatment

Dec 14, 2014 12:56 PM by News Staff

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A recent ballot measure to reduce some felonies to misdemeanors in California could hurt alternative sentencing programs for drug offenders.

The Los Angeles Times reported Sunday that Proposition 47 removes the incentive for addicts to sign up for drug courts.

Drug courts have been around since the 1990s to provide treatment instead of prison sentences for low-level felony offenders.

Under Proposition 47, however, felonies for drug possession and some other nonviolent offenses have been reduced to misdemeanors and bring shorter prison sentences.

A San Diego judge says all the possible drug court candidates recently eligible for reduced sentences under Proposition 47 have opted for the misdemeanor punishment.

Los Angeles Judge Michael Tynan says he fears he may have seen the last large drug court graduation in Los Angeles County.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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