Consequences Of Prop 47: Trading A Life Behind Bars For Cycle Of Poverty And Addiction
The law freed at least 13,500 inmates and exposed a deep gap in the state's social services programs.
The Desert Sun:
Two Years After Prop 47, Addicts Walk Free With Nowhere To Go
Two years after it was approved by California voters, Prop 47 has scaled back mass incarceration of drug addicts, but successful reform is woefully incomplete. Proponents celebrate how the law freed at least 13,500 inmates from harsh sentences in crowded prisons and jails, but Prop 47 has done little to help these people restart their lives. Instead, the unprecedented release of inmates has exposed the limits of California’s neglected social service programs: Thousands of addicts and mentally ill people have traded a life behind bars for a churning cycle of homelessness, substance abuse and petty crime. Prop 47 earmarked millions saved in prison costs for inmate rehabilitation, but not a penny has been spent. Meanwhile, the state’s shortage of treatment programs is more glaring than ever. (Castellano, Kelman, Hwang, Carlson, Wu and Espino, 12/14)