Governor Brown's initiative will make 
Proposition 47's failure seem like child's play

by George Hofstetter
George Hofstetter
When Proposition 47 was sold to voters , the promise was made that it would lead to more money spent on rehabilitating the drug addicts who victimize our communities by stealing to support their habits.
However, the truth was that the vast majority of addicts/thieves attended and completed court-ordered rehabilitation only to avoid going to prison on their felony charges. Proposition 47 removed that "stick" because misdemeanor offenses carry little or no jail time to ensure compliance.
As the Washington Post reported eight months into Proposition 47, "now more addicts were declining drug court, because spending a few days in jail on a misdemeanor charge was easier than 18 months of intensive rehab. Without the threat of a felony, there was little incentive to get treatment. Drug court programs had closed in Fresno and Riverside. Enrollments had dipped by more than a quarter in many places across the state."
Los Angeles Times  story written at the same time reported much the same in the City of Los Angeles; only 73 of the 2, 200 drug offenders entered some sort of court-ordered treatment.
Those stories were written in October 2015, but the dismal failure of Proposition 47 has continued, causing Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer to issue a blunt but dead-on assessment ; "Almost no one has gotten anything close to meaningful drug rehabilitation, and we've prosecuted thousands of these cases. The system is broken at every level."
Of course, the drug rehabilitation fiasco is only one aspect of the  failure of Proposition 47.   As Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Marc Debbaudt pointed out in November, the rising property crime rate in California post-Proposition 47 is in stark contrast to the falling property crime rate nationwide, and the costs to California residents from that crime wave far exceed any claimed " savings ." 
However, next on the horizon is a measure that will make Proposition 47 look like only the opening act of "criminal justice reform" failure: Governor Brown's proposed initiative to release tens of thousands of prison inmates early with their promise they have "rehabilitated."
We have written in past blogs about the multiple reasons that led us to oppose the Governor's initiative.  Now is not the time, in the midst of a Proposition 47 fueled crime wave and questionable releases by the Parole Board, such as the  Leslie Van Houten case, to release inmates early from prison by allowing the Parole Board to cancel Judge imposed sentence enhancements for those inmates.  Like Proposition 47, the initiative is being pushed with the same false promises that it will increase public safety.
If Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer believes the system is "broken at every level" right now, one doesn't need much of an imagination to foresee the utter public safety disaster that will ensue if the Governor's initiative were to be put on the ballot and enacted."

  George Hofstetter is President of the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs. ALADS is the collective bargaining agent and represents more than 8,200 deputy sheriffs and district attorney investigators working in Los Angeles County.  George can be contacted at
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