Pubdate: Mon, 27 Oct 2008
Source: Napa Valley Register (CA)
Copyright: 2008 Lee Enterprises
Author: Sheila M. Daugherty


Dear editor,

As an individual who has worked with alcohol and drug-involved
teenagers for many years, I am urging the passage of Proposition 5,
the NORA initiative.

Non Violent Offenders Rehabilitation Act is much like the previously
passed Proposition 36 initiative that brought money to all counties
for substance abuse treatment rather than incarceration.

Many Napans have seen the amazing success of our drug courts and
realize that for every dollar spent on treatment, we save $7 in the
criminal justice system.

What most individuals don't know is that there is almost nonexistent
funding for juvenile alcohol and drug treatment in all 58 counties of
California. Napa County is lucky to have the Wolfe Center and local
funders, such as Auction Napa Valley, the Gasser Foundation, and the
County of Napa. However, we continue to seek funds for our teens'
treatment. The Wolfe Center is providing prevention and early-level
treatment services in the middle and high schools of Napa County.
Napa, like every other county, has high incidences of alcohol and drug
abuse but we know through research that providing treatment at an
early level to these teens will prevent them from increasing the
severity of their addiction.

Approximately 80 percent of teens involved in the criminal justice
system are substance abuse-involved and usually under the influence
while committing their offenses. Of course, the cost of treatment
versus incarceration is mind-boggling. According to a recent study by
the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's "Reclaiming Futures" juvenile
treatment costs $3,000 per year in comparison to incarceration costing
$40,000 per year!

The Wolfe Center believes in intervening before criminal activity
occurs. However, our funding is limited and criminal justice clients
can be served well by this proposition, leaving other funding sources
for our much-needed school services.

Please support our Napa County Teens by supporting Proposition 5 and
vote yes.

Sheila M. Daugherty

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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake