• Second Chance

    Second Chance

    Pictured: Our very own patient, Karen Korbs, out doing her part to fix Proposition 47 with a new initiative. Photo credit: Aniko Kiezel


    A statewide signature-gathering effort is underway for a ballot measure to roll back provisions of California’s Proposition 47, which turned drug possession, drug trafficking and theft into misdemeanors.

    If adopted by California voters next November, prosecutors would be given discretion to charge drug addicts with a “treatment-mandated felony” after two drug convictions.

    These are modest, necessary reforms to address drug trafficking, addiction and theft plaguing California.

    The problem began with the passing of Proposition 47 in 2014.  The ballot appeared on the initiative under the misleading title, “The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act.”

    The results were the opposite. Pharmacies now display merchandise in locked cases.  Dishwasher pods, shaving cream, and even shampoo bottles are locked up to discourage shoplifting.  Business.org found a 54% increase in shoplifting among 700 small businesses, with 23% saying it happens daily.

    Proposition 47 implemented three broad changes to felony sentencing.

    First, it reclassified certain theft and drug possession from felonies to misdemeanors.

    Second, it authorized defendants serving sentences for felony offenses that would have qualified as misdemeanors under the proposition to petition for resentencing as a misdemeanor.

    Third, it authorized defendants who completed sentences for felony convictions that would have qualified as misdemeanors to possibly reclassify those convictions as misdemeanors.

    In practice, most misdemeanor (and often felony) thieves get away with their crimes.  National retailers are targeted because expensive and confrontational loss-prevention strategies of the past no longer exist.  It’s easier to write off losses.

    Under the proposed new law, offenders charged with a “treatment-mandated felony” would have the option to complete a drug and mental health program or serve time in jail.  The new act would also increase penalties for drug dealers and allow judges to sentence dealers who possess firearms to state prison, rather than county jail.

    The new act would allow prosecutors to charge thieves with two prior misdemeanor theft convictions with a felony and possible jail sentence, regardless of value of the stolen property.

    Visit Inside Sacramento to read the full article.

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