This is our chance, ladies and gentlemen. Incarcerating addicts does NOT work. Sadly, those who find themselves addicted to alcohol or drugs are generally only hurting themselves. As this article describes, incarcerating people rather than helping them fix the underlying problem and WORK toward a solution is a “dangerous and wasteful practice.” And now the entire system is about to break because of it! Take a look everyone…think it through, please.
“Yes on Prop. 47: End over-incarceration in California”
By George Gascón
Published 5:04 pm, Friday, September 19, 2014
“After more than 30 years in law enforcement, I have learned many lessons about what it takes to keep the public safe. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that we must stop the dangerous and wasteful practice of over-incarceration, particularly for nonviolent offenses. It is making us unsafe.
That is why I am a proponent of Proposition 47, an initiative Californians will vote on Nov. 4. The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act is a commonsense measure, supported by others in law enforcement, which would restore the balance between incarceration, rehabilitation and crime prevention.
Over three decades, I’ve witnessed an explosion in incarceration in the name of public safety. California has five times more prisoners and 22 more prisons than it did three decades ago, and spends 1,500 percent more on prisons. This growth has depleted resources for local safety programs and produced a recidivism rate of more than 60 percent.
Our over-incarceration problem cannot be solved until we address our penal code, which is outdated with excessive punishments, especially for drug offenses. But drug use is going up. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health found in 2012 that since 2012, illicit drug use increased by 8 percent and 20 million Americans who needed substance abuse treatment did not receive it. We’ve failed.
Prop. 47 can reverse these trends by prioritizing prison space for those convicted of violent, serious crimes and investing the savings in mental health treatment, schools and victims — smart strategies to improve public safety. Fear mongering won’t work; the public knows it’s time to rethink our safety priorities. Prop. 47 will help us do that.”
George Gascón is the San Francisco district attorney.