Drug Czar Blasts No-Jail Proposal 

Drug Czar Blasts No-Jail Proposal 
Posted by FoM on June 04, 2000 at 10:50:08 PT
By Michael Dougan Of The Examiner Staff
Source: San Francisco Examiner
White House drug czar Barry McCaffrey has condemned a California referendum that would keep nonviolent first-time drug offenders out of jail. McCaffrey - who has publicly opposed mandatory sentencing minimums and three-strikes laws - told a gathering of 3,000 drug court professionals that the so-called Campaign for New Drug Policies measure is a "poison pill" that can destroy effective anti-addiction programs recently initiated throughout the state. 
McCaffrey made his remarks Friday at a conference of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals in downtown San Francisco. McCaffrey has publicly championed drug courts, a relatively recent innovation in which drug offenders are given treatment and counseling options over incarceration. They can be sentenced to jail if they do not abide by the rules. The drug court system began with 12 courts nationwide in 1994. Currently, there are more than 600 courts in the United States and five foreign nations. In California, there are 101 drug courts. The well-funded referendum, to appear on the California ballot in November, would mandate that people convicted of nonviolent drug offenses, including those on parole, be sent to treatment facilities instead of jail. Then their offense could be erased from the record. McCaffrey said the threat of jail time sometimes is necessary to inspire hard-core addicts to change their ways. "If you think you can deal with changing drug addicts without holding them accountable for their behavior, you don't understand the nature of this brain disease," he said. "You have to have a reward and a punishment for people whose chaotic lives are completely out of control." McCaffrey called for greater coordination between various service agencies - including Medicaid and drug treatment programs - and drug courts. He also urged the development of re-entry drug courts to work with prison parolees. Following his remarks, McCaffrey spoke in an interview against mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses and laws that can put drug offenders in prison for extremely lengthy sentences. Judges should retain authority to decide sentences in these cases, he said. "We still have inadequately educated, in my view, state and federal legislators." Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Stephen Manley said supporters of the anti-jail proposition on California's November ballot "suggest . . . that drug courts do not work, that supervision is not necessary." In fact, he said, drug courts "send addicts back to the community as better people with jobs. . . . We have demonstrated in California that drug courts work." He said state legislators who support the drug court system have drafted a bill to counter the pending ballot measure. It would require the Superior Court in each county to develop its own drug court, and remove mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug offenses, he said. Jeffrey Tauber, a Virginia judge and president of the drug court organization, said that drug courts represent a radical reform in treating addicts. Tauber said a study conducted by Columbia University has demonstrated that addicts brought before drug courts have much greater chances of recovery than those simply sent to treatment programs. "Coercion works," he said. "There's all kinds of coercion." He said drug courts practice "therapeutic jurisprudence . . . It's not about punishment for the sake of punishment." Published: June 3, 20002000 San Francisco Examiner  Page A1 Related Articles & Web Sites:The Soros Foundation Network California Campaign For New Drug Policy Debate Harsh Drug Sentences Tactics in War on Drugs's Drug Czar Blasts State Initiative Officials Lambaste Drug Treatment Initiative For Treatment vs. Jail Makes Ballot Councilman Support Drug Penalty Reduction
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on June 04, 2000 at 20:45:24 PT
Reform Movement
Reform MovementA proposed ballot initiative would fund drug-treatment programs with assets seized from offenders.The Boston Phoenix 4 - 11, 2000 By Kristen Lombardi Michael Cutler: "If people really want to do something about drug abuse -- and not just say they do -- this proposition is a step in the right direction."Even in an era of unparalleled skepticism about America's war on drugs, the Massachusetts drug-policy-reform movement is used to being ignored. For years, activists pushing to improve what are seen as "useless" and "unfair" drug policies have found themselves up against the same impenetrable barrier: the law-and-order lobby. Police, in general, liken change to a public-safety threat, while politicians shy away from any stance that could be perceived as soft on crime.Click the link to read the complete article.
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Comment #2 posted by MikeEEEEE on June 04, 2000 at 15:58:22 PT
What's really ironic is that this guy gets paid our tax dollars to be a liar.
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Comment #1 posted by dddd on June 04, 2000 at 15:36:49 PT
I cant believe the amount of grotesque idiotic rubbish that spews from the czars mouth.Clearly,this para-natzi has let the czar title go to his head.He knows nothing about addiction with the exception of his own personal addiction to being an insolent and insensate loudmouth.That mouth of his had foot in iy long ago,he is now getting close to the taste of his knee. He calls it a "brain disease",well then if that's the case,why hasnt he suggested putting Reagan in prison. This guy is such an obvious idiot,that it's almost getting tiresome ranking him out.The true mystery is how he continues to get away with it,while recieving minimal critism?..I think we can guess the answer to that....dddd
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