LA County Supervisor Burke Proclaims

Press Release April 8, 2007
Media Contact

Margaret Dooley at (858) 336-3685 or Tony Newman at (646) 335 5384

LOS ANGELES, April 9 — On April 10, County Supervisor Yvonne Burke (District 2) will proclaim “Prop. 36 Graduates Day” in celebration of the thousands of county residents who have successfully completed treatment under California’s landmark treatment-instead-of-incarceration law, Proposition 36.

Margaret Dooley, Prop. 36 statewide coordinator for the Drug Policy Alliance, said, “This important recognition celebrates the county’s Prop. 36 graduates and all of their hard work. Prop. 36 graduates are proof that, with the right support, addiction can be overcome and people can vastly improve their lives, reunite with their families and reconnect with their communities.”

In Los Angeles County, over 3,000 program participants graduate from Prop. 36 each year. Home to one-quarter of all the state’s graduates each year, the county represents a huge part of the program’s overall success. During this sixth year of the program, the number of Prop. 36 graduates in the county will surpass 18,000, generating $51.5 million in taxpayer savings.

The award proclaims “Prop. 36 Graduates Day” on April 18, the day of the second annual “Prop. 36 Works!” rally in Sacramento and coordinated celebrations in Los Angeles and around the state. At last year’s rally, over 500 graduates gathered at the Capitol to celebrate the program. Rally organizers, including the Beacon House Association of San Pedro and the Drug Policy Alliance, expect an even larger turn out this year.

For more on Prop. 36 and the April 18 rally, visit

Prop. 36 by the numbers

According to researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles, each Prop. 36 participant saves the state approximately $2,860. Savings for treatment graduates is even higher. Using this conservative figure, LA County’s 18,000 graduates have saved taxpayers at least $51.5 million.

According to UCLA, Prop. 36 saved at least $850 million statewide in just five years. Six years into Prop. 36, the number of people incarcerated for drug possession has fallen by 32% (5,000 people). In addition, over 1,000 Californians on parole complete treatment under Prop. 36 each year instead of going back to prison. By diverting so many into treatment, Prop. 36 rendered unnecessary the construction of a new men’s prison (saving another $500 million) and also resulted in the shuttering of a women’s prison.

A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

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