Message About Implementing Prop 36 From ...
V. Manly, President of the
California Association of Drug Court Professionals (CADCP)
By Terence T. Gorski: Judge Steven V. Manly is a recognized leader in
the national movement to have the courts deal with non-violent drug offenders as
sick people who need treatment and not bad people who need punishment.
Judge Manly sees the both the promise and the potential problems inherent in
California's Proposition 36. As a proactive leader, judge manly calls for
those who care about suffering addicts, their families, and their communities to
focus upon and enhance the strengths of Prop 36 while recognizing, working
around, and eventually correcting the problems. He believes that
Proposition 36 creates an opportunity to implement a comprehensive state-wide
drug court system that is an integrated part of a full continuum of treatment
and supervision , rather than a separate model operating in isolation from other
community resources. He encourages an inclusive policy towards
involving people in court supervised treatment. Since addiction as a
chronic relapsing condition, he sees no sense in declaring certain people as
ineligible for court supervised treatment that could break the cycle of
substance use and crime. He suggests focusing upon the drug court
principles of assessment, appropriate treatment placement, close supervision
from the bench, and the immediate implementation of sanctions and incentives
based upon how people respond to treatment. He sees the first step as
working "outside of the box" to use proven drug court principles to
successfully implement Prop 36. This will set the stage for seeking much
needed additional money and appropriate amendments that can overcome the
weaknesses of the legislation.
every member of the California Drug Court Association and other citizens who are
committed to the successful implementation of California's Proposition 36, these
present a great challenge, and a great opportunity, as we plan for the
implementation of Proposition 36. We must remember that drug courts emerged as
the result of a reform movement in the criminal justice system involving the
collaboration of many fields and disciplines, long before treatment was an
36 gives us a small window in time to advocate for the implementation of a
complete “Drug Court Treatment System” for all substance abusing non-violent
offenders. That system should contain the full continuum of treatment and
supervision. Rather than look at
our drug courts as a “separate” model, we should look at a system that
places clients in the most appropriate setting to reach the goals of successful
completion of treatment and the greatest likelihood of stopping drug use, with
drug courts being the most intensely supervised level of placement.
such as “DEJ Eligible Only”, “Prop. 36 Eligible Only”, “Non Prop. 36
Eligible”, “Failure” should not control our planning efforts.
We recognize that our common goal is to provide offenders with
appropriate treatment and supervision based on ongoing assessments, retain them
in treatment, and have them successfully complete that treatment. We should also
recognize that not every client may be placed in an intense drug court setting.
not take this opportunity to move to a comprehensive drug treatment system model
for all drug offenders? We recognize that addiction is a relapsing condition,
and that hard-core users will be back in the criminal justice system. Does it
make sense to deny treatment to an “ineligible” defendant or deny treatment
forever to a presently “unameanable” client? Must we abandon our drug court
principles and return to contested adversarial hearings? Not necessarily.
drug court principles that we have learned and put into effect in collaborative
planning may be applied to develop a more comprehensive system that adequately
assesses each defendant entering the system, and places each defendant at the
appropriate level of treatment and supervision over time.
36 has infused $120 million into the treatment/supervision system for drug
offenders. However, when you look closely at the amount allocated to each of our
Counties and the number of additional offenders who will now be placed in
treatment, many agree that there are insufficient resources to meet the need.
Therefore, we must be creative and effectively manage all of our resources.
the new Director of the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs recognized the
strength of local collaboration in a world of limited resources when her
Department issued the Emergency Regulations for implementation: Coordinate the
development of a county plan for implementation at the local level.
If we “think outside the box”, then we can return to the collaborations and
agreements that we have already entered into, and build on them to complete a
treatment system. Because planning will be local, there is no requirement of
At the State level, we must advocate strongly for funding for drug testing,
which has been a key component in success in treatment, and our drug courts. If
we learn during our local planning efforts that there is insufficient funding
for both treatment and supervision, we must immediately build a case for
additional funding from the State.
journey begins with our cooperative effort at the local level. Five months is a
very short time! I encourage you to
take the first steps today, and keep drug courts alive and responsive.
Stephen V. Manley, President, CADCP