California Reforms Drug Sentencing Laws and Invests Savings in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Efforts

California has come up with a novel answer to the familiar question: “How are you going to pay for it?”

Click here to read an article from the LA Times “Prop 47 Got Thousands out of Prison.  Now $103 Million in Savings Will Go to Keeping Them Out.”

The savings came from a ballot initiative that downgraded six drug and theft crimes to misdemeanors and helped save costs of incarceration.   Twenty million dollars will go to Los Angeles County to expand housing for substance abuse treatment and social services for inmates with mental health problems.  The city of Los Angeles will receive nearly $12 million for a drug-intervention initiative and a program to help inmates find jobs.

According to grant application guidelines, government agencies will receive the grant awards, but more than 50% of the funds must go to the community-based organizations they contract with for mental health, drug abuse and other social services.  State officials expect to distribute $103 million over the next three years.











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