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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

New Laws Reduce Time for Drug Offenders

Promising moves are being made by the federal government to reduce mandatory minimum sentences for minor drug offenses. Now, California legislators might be making similar changes. Changing drug laws could mean that people will get the treatment they need as opposed to prison sentences. Reports have shown that jails and prisons have barely any effect on addicts when it comes to rehabilitation.

The state legislature would give prosecutors the power to treat minor drug offenses as misdemeanors, instead of felonies, Bloomberg reports. Changing drug laws will also have a huge effect on prison populations which are severely overcrowded, according to the article.

 “One of the best ways to promote lower crime rates is to provide low-level offenders with the rehabilitation they need to successfully reenter their communities,” said State Senator Mark Leno in a news release, when the measure he sponsored passed in the state Senate in May. “However, our current laws do just the opposite. We give non-violent drug offenders long terms, offer them no treatment while they’re incarcerated, and then release them back into the community with few job prospects or opportunities to receive an education.”

The bill is pending in the state Assembly.
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