Prop. 5 Supporters Release New TV Ads

Press Release October 23, 2008
Media Contact

Margaret Dooley-Sammuli at (213) 291-4190 or Tommy McDonald at

Supporters of Proposition 5, the Nonviolent Offender Rehabilitation Act, today unveiled two new TV spots intended to begin running statewide next week.

Both Yes on 5 spots highlight the measure’s drug treatment programs for young people. If passed, Prop. 5 would provide $65 million per year to counties to make drug treatment available to at-risk youth under the age of 18. Virtually no publicly funded treatment is available now for young people.

The first Yes on 5 spot, titled “Warden,” features Jeanne Woodford, former warden of San Quentin State Prison and former Director of the California Department of Corrections. Against a backdrop of images of San Quentin, she speaks of her 25 years working at the prison, where she began as a prison guard. “Let me tell you,” Woodford says, “too many of the men I dealt with started out as kids with drug problems. But California doesn’t have treatment for kids.”

She goes on to say that the youth treatment provisions of Prop. 5 are one of its main draws for her. “I can’t tell you how good I feel,” Woodford says, “when I think of all those kids who will never wind up in prison.”

The second Yes on 5 spot offers a dramatic story of a young person who has slipped into addiction and criminal activity as a result of a drug problem.

In “Rewind,” we take a look back at what happened: “When he was 14,” the narrator says, “he had a drug problem. But there was no drug treatment available. Now, we have to spend forty-six thousand dollars a year to keep him in prison.”

Prop. 5 is “a better way” because it offers drug treatment to young people, the narrator says. The spot then ends by showing the two possible outcomes — in one frame, the youth is shown in a mug shot, headed for jail. In the other, he is wearing a cap and gown, graduating from college.

Margaret Dooley-Sammuli, deputy campaign manager for Yes on 5, said, “Prop. 5 would fill a huge gap in drug treatment services in California. It is shocking how little we do now for young people with drug problems. These ads highlight for voters one of the most important aspects of Prop. 5, something almost everyone can identify with.”

These ads, and others, are in final testing stages. The youth ads can be viewed online today:

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

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