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Home | Newsroom | Access to Justice | Homeless Californians Who Commit Minor Crimes Could Get Treatment Instead Of Jail Under Proposed Ballot Measure

Homeless Californians Who Commit Minor Crimes Could Get Treatment Instead Of Jail Under Proposed Ballot Measure

Homeless people in California convicted of drug crimes or charges such as indecent exposure or defecating in public could be sentenced to treatment instead of jail time under a proposed ballot measure.

Plans for the initiative — which were submitted last week and aren’t yet approved for the November ballot — come as Californians now view homelessness as a top concern in the state, tied with jobs and the economy, according to a recent poll.

…“We know that delivering those services in a forced, institutional setting — which this seems aimed at doing — actually has a very low success rate. It doesn’t result in people stabilizing over the long term,” said Anya Lawler, a policy advocate at the Western Center on Law and Poverty, which supports the causes of low-income Californians. 

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