Fresno County Officials, Addiction Counselors Meet to Discuss Proposition 36
Roughly 800 to 1,000 Fresno County residents will be affected by Proposition 36, the ballot initiative passed in November that will send first- and second-time drug offenders to treatment programs rather than jail, county officials said at a meeting Friday, the Fresno Bee reports. Fresno County officials have been meeting regularly to discuss Proposition 36, which takes effect July 1, but Friday's gathering was the first involving drug counselors. Fresno County has received $1.49 million from the state to implement the treatment program and will receive nearly $3 million annually under the proposition. Dennis Koch, a substance-abuse specialist, said, "We're trying to bring the treatment providers together way ahead of the game. We're hoping that [they will] have questions that we haven't thought of." Drug counselors and program managers said they were "happy" to engage in a dialogue about the law. Larry Arce, executive director of the Fresno Rescue Mission, said, "There's still a lot more that needs to be done, but it gets the ball rolling." Koch said that he remains "hopeful" about the law's success, adding, "It seems like every week that this proposition goes from being more negative to more positive" (Davis, Fresno Bee, 3/24).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.