A panel discussion, moderated by Bill Tarkanian, L.A. CADA’s Director of Program Development. The esteemed panel includes: Jennifer Lopez, Regional Administrator for the Department of Children and Family Services, Santa Fe Springs, CA; Douglas Haubert, Esq., City Prosecutor, City of Long Beach; Chief Jeff Piper, Chief of Police, City of Whittier; and Cinthya Alcaraz, LCSW, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health / Court Liaison
Proposition 64, passed by 57% of voters in California in November of 2016, decriminalized the personal possession and use of recreational marijuana for adults 21 years of age and older, leaving in effect Proposition 215, minimally regulating Medical Marijuana, and effectively legalizing Recreational Marijuana starting in January of 2018, with limits (smoking of marijuana in public is punishable by a fine; driving under the influence is still a crime; unlicensed sales is still punishable, but the sentence is limited to six months; and all sales to minors remain illegal
Proposition 47, passed by nearly 60% of voters in California in November of 2014. The measure’s main effect was to reduce the severity of penalties associated with many non-violent offenses, including drug possession offenses, and the crimes often associated with substance abuse and dependency, like petty theft, forged and bad checks under $950. Savings generated from reduced costs of incarceration were to be re-directed back into communities and schools.
AB1810 was signed into law in June of 2018 by Governor Jerry Brown. This law created a pre-trial diversion alternative for persons with mental health disorders who are charged with misdemeanors and some felonies. The law intended to mitigate an individual’s entry or reentry to the criminal justice system when significant mental health issues exist, while promoting public safety through redirection of funds. The law also afforded local communities to create diversion policies and programs aimed at increasing a continuum of appropriate care, and judges’ considerable discretion in determining its applicability.
Our panel will discuss the costs and benefits of Prop. 64, Prop. 47 and AB1810, relative to community health and safety, specifically, and the appropriateness of diversion and alternative sentencing programs as part of society’s increased awareness for legal and health equity, more generally.