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Bill Signed to End Mandatory Minimum Jail Sentences for Non-Violent Drug Offenses in CA

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Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday signed a bill authored by state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, that ends mandatory minimum jail sentences for non-violent drug offenses.

Wiener said Senate Bill 73 will help end mass incarceration and what he called the state’s war on drugs.

“Our prisons and jails are filled with people — particularly from communities of color — who have committed low-level, nonviolent drug offenses and who would be much better served by non-carceral options like probation, rehabilitation and treatment,” he said.

The legislation goes into effect Jan. 1.

The law will allow courts to grant probation or suspend sentences — a practice currently prohibited by state law — for people convicted of non-violent drug offenses and would impose state-mandated programs, according to an analysis by the state’s legislative’s counsel.

Once the new law is in effect, it will also give judges more sentencing options, Wiener said.

Co-authors of the legislation include Assemblymembers Wendy Carrillo, D-Los Angeles, Sydney Kamlager, D-Los Angeles, David Chiu, D-San Francisco, Buffy Wicks, D-Oakland and Sen. Steven Bradford, D-Los Angeles. It was sponsored by the Drug Policy Alliance.

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1 Comment

  1. Cadence
    October 7, 2021 at 2:32 pm — Reply

    There should be work apprentice program that educates, empowers people to help them create a better life. If people acquire skills and learn to live a better and ethical way of being, and learn to stay out of trouble, is a win win for all. Except the corrupt for profit incarceration industry aka Prison Industrial Complex.

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