Prop 5: Nonviolent Offender Rehabilitation Act (NORA)

Put on the Ballot by Petition Signatures

40.5% YES
59.5% NO

Summary

Allocates $460,000,000 annually to improve and expand treatment programs. Limits court authority to incarcerate offenders who commit certain drug crimes, break drug treatment rules or violate parole. Fiscal Impact: Increased state costs potentially exceeding $1 billion annually primarily for expansion of offender treatment programs. State savings potentially exceeding $1 billion annually on corrections operations. Net one-time state prison capital outlay savings potentially exceeding $2.5 billion.

What Your Vote Means

A YES Means Drug treatment diversion programs available primarily for persons charged or convicted for a nonviolent drug possession crime would be expanded. Some parole violators would be diverted from state prison and parole terms would be reduced for others. New rehabilitation programs would be expanded for offenders before and after they leave prison. Some inmates might receive additional credits to reduce the time they stay in state prison. Possession of less than 28.5 grams of marijuana would have a lesser penalty than under current law.
A NO Means State and local governments would determine whether to expand existing drug treatment diversion programs in the future. State correctional officials would continue to have the discretion to return various categories of parole violators to state prison, and parole terms would remain at three years for most parolees. The state would not be obligated to further expand rehabilitation programs for inmates, parolees, and other offenders. The current rules for awarding credits to inmates to reduce their time in prison would continue. The penalty for possession of less than 28.5 grams of marijuana would remain unchanged.

Arguments

PRO Proposition 5 safely reduces prison overcrowding. For youth, it creates drug treatment programs. None now exist. For nonviolent offenders and parolees, it expands rehabilitation. Prop. 5 enlarges successful, voter-approved Proposition 36 (2000), providing treatment with close supervision and strict accountability for nonviolent drug offenders. Prop. 5 saves $2.5 billion.
CON Shortens parole for methamphetamine dealers from 3 years?to 6 months. Loophole allows defendants accused of child abuse, domestic violence, vehicular manslaughter, and other crimes to effectively escape prosecution. Strongly opposed by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Establishes new bureaucracies. Reduces accountability. Could dramatically increase local costs and taxes.
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