State Divides Drug Treatment Money Among Counties

State Divides Drug Treatment Money Among Counties
Posted by FoM on January 03, 2001 at 19:29:13 PT
By Don Thompson, Associated Press Writer
Source: Sacramento Bee 
The state is leaving it to California's 58 counties to divide their share of $60 million to implement a drug treatment initiative approved by voters last year. Proposition 36 takes effect July 1. It requires that first- and second-time drug users be sent to treatment programs instead of prison or jail. Counties will share $60 million as they prepare for the program, and $120 million each year for the next five years. 
The state Department of Alcohol and Drug Program's allocation to each county was made public Wednesday. That is leading to predictions of a fight between drug treatment providers and county probation departments over the money. Probation offices say they lack enough officers to oversee the estimated 36,000 offenders who otherwise would have gone to state jails or prisons, while treatment providers already have long waiting lists. "There will be politics" as county supervisors divide the money, said San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan, whose county will receive $2.3 million. He hopes the Legislature helps avert disputes by approving more money this spring to beef up county probation offices and pay for drug tests. Los Angeles County will get $15.7 million, or 27 percent of the money announced Wednesday. The county would have received slightly more had the money been divided strictly on population, as the county proposed, said Bob Mimura, director of the Countywide Criminal Justice Coordination Committee set up by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. But the state department instead factored in treatment caseloads and drug crimes, which benefited San Francisco County, among others. San Francisco is the 10th most populous county but received the seventh-largest allotment, Hallinan said. Los Angeles County officials opposed Proposition 36 but won't fight over the money as other counties might, Mimura predicted. "We can't fully implement it if we're arguing over scraps," he said. On the Net: See each county's share of the money, and requirements for using it, at: Sacramento Bee (CA)Author: Don Thompson, Associated Press WriterPublished: January 3, 2001Copyright: 2000 The Sacramento BeeAddress: P.O.Box 15779, Sacramento CA 95852Contact: opinion sacbee.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:California Campaign For New Drug Policy New Era for Drug Policy? for Politicians to Catch Up and Lead 
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Comment #3 posted by Ed Carpenter on January 04, 2001 at 02:00:58 PT:
State Divides Drug Treatment Money Among Counties
Just throwing the money into a pile and letting the counties fight over it... What better way to say: "Look. Prop 36 just caused chaos."
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on January 03, 2001 at 20:50:05 PT
The Most Deadly Drug
Money! That's what it's all about. What a pity. I just don't know how treating someone for using marijuana is a good way to spend this money. I hope they leave marijuana people alone. I really do.
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Comment #1 posted by dddd on January 03, 2001 at 20:35:11 PT
Vultures and Pirates
 I can hear the champagne corks poppin',as news of more drug war cash hits the boardrooms of those who are poised to profit off this new,loosly defined "treatment" thing. Yes the vultures will be circling around this fresh kill of meaty cash.Pirates will be staking claim to the booty from all sides.The excitment of all this loosly guarded treasure is thrilling to the potential benificiaries. Prop 36 is a good thing in principle,but it seems to me that no one has a clue about how it's all gonna work.One gets the feeling that the state has just shrugged,and tossed the money to the counties,with no real plan.Now the county administrators will dole it out to whoever wins the squabble as to exactly who is entitled to it.Everyone will be insisting that they need a big piece of the pie. Perhaps that's part of the plan,to turn this into an ineffective fiasco,so the opposition can say,"see,it doesnt work",,,"the voters didnt know what they were talking about."After all,most of the people in charge of attempting to impliment prop 36,are the ones who opposed it in the first place.Now they are reluctantly cutting loose with the money,and passing the buck to the counties,who are themselves notorious for mismanaging such funds,and are heavily inbred with special interest influence.It aint pretty............dddd
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