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21 BYU J. Pub. L. 531 (2007)
Proposition 36: Ignoring Amenability and Avoiding Accountability

handle is hein.journals/byujpl21 and id is 535 raw text is: Proposition 36: Ignoring Amenability and Avoiding
Since 1991 and the implementation ol California's first drug court,
the state has continued to expand on the idea of rehabilitation for drug-
offenders.' Over the past ten years California has produced some of the
nation's most progressive drug laws. One of the most revolutionary
reforms was implemented by Proposition 36-a treatment instead of
incarceration initiative. This new attempt to rehabilitate minor drug
offenders appeared promising at first, but it soon became apparent that
the system was flawed. While the statutory language provided drug
offenders with needed opportunities to slip-up in their recoveries, it also
had language indicating that drug offenders needed to show they were
actually attempting to reform their lives. This clause for amenability has
since been all but ignored by the criminal justice system and has led to a
program that lacks accountability on the part of participants. It is no
wonder then that drug offenders are ultimately unmotivated by this
current law to complete drug treatment before it is too late and their
eligibility for such privileges is revoked. Until changes are made-either
to the language of the law or judicial implementation of the program-
Proposition 36 will continue to function at a sub-par level.
In November 2000, California voters passed an initiative to provide
offenders charged with minor drug crimes the option of participating in
drug treatment programs as part of probation, rather than going to
prison.3 The initiative, Proposition 36, was titled the Substance Abuse
and Crime Prevention Act of 2000,A and passed by a decisive 61%           of
I. Arnold  Schwarzenegger, Drug  Court Month  Proclamation, May  1, 2004,
http://www.adp.ca.gov/DrugCourts/pdf/DrugCourtsProclamation.pdf  (Drug  courts integrate
criminal justice, treatment services, educational opportunities and community partnerships in a
collaborative effort to tackle drug and alcohol dependence. Drug courts seek to break the devastating
cycle of addiction through judicial supervision, substance abuse treatment, and sanctions and
2. Drug Policy Alliance, Reform in California, http://www.drugpolicy.org/statebystate/
california/ (last visited Mar. 7, 2007).
3. Prop36.org, About Prop 36, http://www.prop36.org/about.html (last visited Dec. 12,
4. California Campaign for New Drug Policies, Proposition 36: The Substance Abuse and
Crime Prevention Act, http://www.drugreform.org/prop36/fulltext.tpl (last visited Mar. 19, 2007).

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