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News Archive

Below, you will find an archive of stories that have been posted to the front page news section in the past. Select one to read the full story.

Little Hoover Commission Studies Prop. 36

Thanks to data-analysis requirements in California's treatment-instead-of-incarceration law, Proposition 36 is one of the most researched sentencing reform policies in the country's history. The evidence is now being reviewed by the Little Hoover Commission, which will publish a report later this year with recommendations for improving implementation of the six-year-old program. For those who advocate for policies based on evidence rather than politics, this is welcome news.
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Prop. 36 Funding Survived Last Minute Budget Cuts

On Friday, August 24, after one of the state’s longest budget stalemates, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed California’s 2007-08 budget into law. Before signing, the governor made good on his promise to eliminate an additional $703 million from the budget by using his "blue pencil" powers, but left funding for Prop. 36 at $120 million—the level approved by the legislature.
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State Budget Stalls, Leaving Prop. 36 Funding in Limbo


At the end of July, the California Senate failed to pass a state budget approved by the Assembly two weeks before. Unable to reach agreement, the Senate followed the Assembly on vacation and is not expected to vote on the budget until the legislative session resumes on August 20. Until the legislature passes and the governor signs a budget in the fall, it is up to the counties to provide funding—putting a severe, short-term strain on all providers who depend on county contracts to provide Prop. 36 treatment. [read more]
Rally Celebrates Program Success on "Prop. 36 Graduates Day"


Hundreds of graduates and supporters of California’s six-year-old, treatment-instead-of-incarceration program gathered at the State Capitol Building on April 18, 2007, for the second annual “Prop. 36 Works!” rally and to celebrate the program’s 70,000 graduates. In support of the grads, the day was declared “Prop. 36 Graduates Day” in the state as well as in the counties of Los Angeles and San Diego. See more and pictures.
California Legislators Show Support for Treatment-not-Incarceration


In late May, two California legislative subcommittees sent a message of support for treatment when they rejected Governor Schwarzenegger's plans to slash funding for Prop. 36, the state's voter-enacted, treatment-instead-of-incarceration law. The six-year-old program makes drug treatment available to tens of thousands of people convicted of nonviolent drug offenses each year and has already saved taxpayers over $1.7 billion. [read more]

Prison Reformers Support Prop. 36 Treatment



On March 28, over 200 prison reform advocates from around the state, including Prop. 36 participants and graduates, gathered in Sacramento to call for continued support for California’s treatment-instead-of-incarceration law. [More]
Prop. 36 Graduates and the Art Scene


In late February, A New PATH (Parents for Addiction Treatment & Healing) and the San Diego Prop. 36 Alumni Association hosted a Prop. 36 Art Show at the San Diego Art Institute in the city’s Balboa Park. The show, opened by several community leaders and a county representative, featured artwork based on several Prop. 36 graduates’ recovery stories. Over 100 people attended and the event got some local print news coverage. [View Photos]
Governor Proposes Slashing Funding -- Again


Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s budget proposal, released January 10, recommends a deep funding cut for California’s landmark, voter-approved treatment-instead-of-jail program, Proposition 36. Program supporters worry that the governor’s budget, if accepted by the Legislature, would undermine the success of the program and its 36,000 participants each year. [More]
Social Justice Advocates Regroup

On October 10, social justice advocates and community members gathered to discuss the state of social justice reform in California. Over dinner, about 25 advocates and community members reassessed past failures and looked toward next steps. The refunding of Prop 36 in June 2007 surfaced as the movement's next opportunity for victory. [More]

Grads Celebrate National Recovery Month
  In September, National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month, Prop 36 participants and grads around California got together with others in recovery to celebrate. From Sacramento to San Diego, grads got together at picnics, baseball games and walks for recovery. It started out with a gathering of several thousand people in Sacramento on August 1 and is still going strong! See pictures here.
Prop 36 Cost-Savings Study Shows Huge Savings for Taxpayers
  A landmark in the debate over the future of Proposition 36 came Wednesday, April 5, as UCLA researchers released a major cost-savings study of the drug treatment law enacted by voters in November 2000. According to the UCLA report, Prop. 36 saves $2.50 for every dollar spent on average. Using UCLA data, the Drug Policy Alliance estimates total savings over the program's first five years at $1.4 billion. Read the presse release here and the report here.
April 18: Second Annual "Prop. 36 Works!" Rally


In just five years, Prop 36 has provided treatment to over 140,000 people and saved the state over $1.3 billion. Prop. 36 is a hugely successful program by all of these measures, but it’s not going to protect itself. If you believe that treatment works, that recovery happens and that treatment works better than incarceration for nonviolent drug offenders, join us on April 18 in Sacramento! [More]
Methamphetamine Awareness Day


The Department of Justice has declared November 30 National Methamphetamine Awareness Day. On this day, there will be plenty of hyperbolic claims about the drug and about its insurmountable addiction. But what better way to mark the occasion than to take a day off from the hype? Instead, consider the Prop. 36 evidence. [More]
Prop. 36 Grads Speak to Legislators in Southern California
  On May 12, San Diego-area Prop. 36 grads met with their legislators to ask for their continued support of the program. The grads shared their stories in eight San Diego legislators’ offices. On May 19, grads in the greater Los Angeles area will be doing the same. Read more here. See pictures here.
Prop 36 Grads Flood State Capitol
  Over 500 clients, graduates and supporters of Proposition 36, California’s treatment-instead-of-incarceration law, rallied at the Capitol on Wednesday, April 19, to celebrate five years of the hugely successful program. The rally comes after the recent release of a series of reports highlighting the success of the Prop 36. The group, most of whom are in recovery instead of jail thanks to Prop 36, represent a handful of the more than 140,000 people who entered treatment through the program in the last four years—and some of the 60,000 who will have graduated by July 1. Read more here.
Institute Says Prop 36 Led to Drug Possession Incarceration Rate Decrease of 34 Percent
  According to a new report from the Justice Policy Institute (JPI), “Proposition 36: Five Years Later,”drug treatment legislation enacted in California was followed by a greater decrease in the number of individuals incarcerated for drug possession and drug charges than any other large state prison system. Read more here and the full report here.
State Conference Pushes Best Practices

In October the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs (DADP), which administrates Prop. 36, brought together county administrators and treatment providers from across the state to discuss the future of Prop. 36. For the first time in five years, they began to share and promote best practices. Find out why this is important here. [More]



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Read about what Prop 36 graduate, Oliver H. thinks about Prop 36 and how it could be improved.

Success Stories

Check out Curtis' success story.

Prop 36 in the News

Judge Disallows Change in Drug Law, Inside Bay Area [09/15/06]

Judge Upholds Vote of Californians on Prop 36, California Progress Report [09/15/06]

Judge Extends Block to Changes for Drug Treatment Law, San Diego Union Tribune [09/14/06]

To a Speedy Recovery, East Bay Express [09/06/06]

Thanks to Prop. 36, Valley News [08/15/06]

Judge Puts Hold on Schwarzenegger’s Law, California Progress Report [07/14/06]

Governor Signs Prop 36 Changes, Capital Notes, [07/12/06]

Drug Policy Alliance Files Suit to Protect Prop 36, The Real Cost of Prisons Weblog, [06/29/06]

Lawmakers Back Jail Terms, AP Wire/The Mercury News [06/28/06]

Jail Time Sought for Drug Offenders, Orange County Register, [06/26/06]

Memo to Arnold: Step Carefully, [06/19/06]

CLARE Offers Answers to Addicts, Santa Monica Daily News [05/04/06]

Common Sense for Drug Policy
California Society of Addiction Medicine
California State Association of Counties

Read commentary from Oliver H., a Prop 36 graduate.

Get the Facts
Over a dozen Proposition 36 fact sheets are available for download. Topics include: the Effectiveness of Drug Treatment, Drug Courts/Deferred Entry, and the California Correctional System.
breakdowns of the 2000 initiative votes
For background on the Prop. 36 campaign and other votes nationwide for drug policy reform, see:

Contact Lists
County Lead Agencies
and Contacts
Parole Region Contact
Probation Contacts



Drug Policy Alliance · (916) 444-3751 · [email protected]