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Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act of 2000

March 2002

Executive Summary

California’s Proposition 36, the Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act of 2000 (SACPA), took effect on July 1, 2001. Since that date, SACPA has been diverting low-level, non-violent
drug offenders convicted solely of possession for personal use into community-based treatment instead of incarceration. While it is too early to determine the ultimate success of this program, this preliminary progress report describes how the state and the largest counties are implementing this initiative.

Early indications suggest that SACPA is being implemented well in most of the state, and that the initiative is on the path to fulfill its promise to the voters to reduce the rates of drug addiction and crime by diverting offenders to drug treatment, and will save California taxpayers many millions of dollars by reducing our state’s jail and prison populations.


SACPA Clients

  • In the seven counties examined in this report—Contra Costa, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Mateo, and Ventura—over 9,500 individuals had been referred to treatment through SACPA by the end of December 2001.
  • In these seven counties, the average number of clients active in treatment was 71 percent of the total number of referrals.
  • According to an initial assessment of a cross-section of California counties, meth-amphetamine was used by over 40 percent of SACPA clients. It is also the primary drug of choice in a number of California counties examined for this report, including Contra Costa, Sacramento, and Ventura Counties.

Interagency Collaboration

  • SACPA involves a unique and groundbreaking collaboration between criminal justice and public health agencies at the county level, including substance abuse and mental
    health departments, probation, parole and the courts: 53 of the state’s 58 counties, and each of the 12 largest counties (which together comprise 75 percent of the state’s population) chose local health departments (or the drug and alcohol divisions thereof) to serve as lead agencies in the implementation of SACPA.
Download the Progress Report in .pdf format
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Hardcopies of the report are available by contacting Drug Policy Alliance at (916) 444-3751 or [email protected].

Back to Prop 36 Reports

Download the Progress Report in .pdf format
(2.3 MB)
Download the text-only PDF of the Progress Report (72 K)
Read an updated and summarized version of this report

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]