Pubdate: Thu, 05 Apr 2001
Source: Appeal-Democrat (CA)
Copyright: 2001 Appeal-Democrat
Author: Harold Kruger
(Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act)


Expected New Cases Created By Proposition 36 Prompt Need For

Yuba County's Probation Department will hire four employees to handle
the expected new cases created by Proposition 36.

County supervisors approved the new positions Tuesday night: two
deputy probation officers and two program aides.

Proposition 36, approved by voters in November, takes effect July 1
and emphasizes community treatment over incarceration for certain
types of drug offenders.

"From the broadest perspective, I would hope as a county we take the
view of developing a comprehensive substance abuse treatment system
that recognizes the need for resource balance for all entities
involved, focused on providing the highest quality treatment to
clients while affording the community with the maximum degree of
public protection," Chief Probation Officer Steve Roper said in a memo
to supervisors.

Roper said it's "difficult to calculate the exact number of persons"
eligible for Proposition 36 treatment.

Roper suggested that, based on current drug cases, he expects 150
offenders to be handled through Proposition 36 in the first year.

By the end of three years, he said, that number could reach

"Regardless of whatever local standards are adopted, it is important
to remember that probation caseloads are cumulative - they exist for
years," Roper wrote. "Thus, caseload numbers increase because people
come on the caseload at a rate much higher than they leave it."

He said it may take three years before Proposition 36's impact on the
Probation Department is realized.

According to Roper, the Probation Department's workload will increase
because it will have to produce more sentencing reports, especially
for misdemeanors, supervise offenders, oversee drug testing and be
responsible for collecting funds from offenders to pay for their drug

Roper estimated that drug testing of 150 offenders will cost about
$50,000 in a year, money not available from Proposition 36.

Proposition 36 funds will cover the new personnel costs, Roper

About $60 million is being divided among the state's 58 counties for
fiscal 2000-01.

Initially, Sutter and Yuba counties were to receive a joint allocation
of about $320,000 because they operate their drug and alcohol programs
through Sutter-Yuba Mental Health.

But in January, the state Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs
distributed a revised funding list, saying it had to allocate the
funds to each county.

Now, Sutter County will get $191,604, while Yuba County will receive
$201,164, or a total of $392,768. The two counties wind up getting
about $72,000 more separately than when they were considered together.

Even though Yuba County has a smaller population than Sutter County,
it has more drug arrests and more people in treatment, resulting in
the higher allocation.

"Once the initial planning process has been completed, both counties
may elect to combine their program resources," Robert Bendorf, Yuba
County's principal administrative analyst, wrote in a Feb. 20 memo to
county supervisors. "Planning has begun on a bi-county basis."

In February, Sutter County supervisors designated their Department of
Human Services Mental Health Division as the lead agency for
Proposition 36. In Yuba County, it's the Health and Human Services

Sutter County Chief Probation Officer Christine Odom said her
department hasn't finalized its Proposition 36 strategy.

Each county has appointed a policy committee to advise

Sutter County's committee includes Assistant Director of Human
Services Joan Hoss, Assistant County Administrator Curt Coad, Sheriff
Jim Denney, Undersheriff Bill Grove, Yuba City police Capt. Scott
Berry, District Attorney Carl Adams, Judge Robert Damron, Human
Services Director Ed Smith and Tom Metcalf, manager of the county's
Drug and Alcohol Program.

Yuba County's committee includes Roper, Judges James Curry and David
Wasilenko, Human Services Director Mike Noda, District Attorney Pat
McGrath, Sheriff Virginia Black, Public Defender Debra Givens, Drug
and Alcohol Coordinator Bev Craig, County Administrator Jan
Christofferson and Health Officer Joe Cassady.


Effective July 1, Proposition 36:

*Changes sentencing laws to require offenders convicted of
"non-violent drug possession" be sentenced to probation and drug
treatment instead of prison, jail or probation without treatment.
Excludes some offenders, including those who refuse treatment and
those found "unamenable" to treatment by courts.

*Changes parole violation laws to require that parole violators who
commit nonviolent drug possession offenses or who violate drug-related
conditions of parole complete drug treatment in the community, rather
than being returned to state prison.

*Requires that eligible offenders receive up to one year of drug
treatment in the community and up to six months of additional
follow-up care.

*Establishes certain sanctions for offenders found unamenable for
treatment or who violate the conditions of probation or parole.

*Permits courts (for probationers) and Board of Prison Terms (for
parole violators) to require offenders to participate in training,
counseling, literacy or community service.

*Requires that treatment programs be licensed or certified by the
state Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs.

*Requires offenders to pay for their treatment, if they are reasonably
able to do so.

*Appropriates state funds for distribution to counties to operate drug
treatment programs and provide related services.

*Requires the state to study the effectiveness of the measure and to
audit county expenditures.

Source - "Implementing Proposition 36: Issues, Challenges, and
Opportunities" by the Legislative Analyst's Office, December 2000 
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake