Voters to decide crime and punishment

by Selene Rivera ,

Besides to decide on whom he will be the next President, the voters of California also will have to vote to favor or against three state proposals that take to the ballot boxes the subject of drugs and the rehabilitation for the addict one, the penal punishment to criminals and the rights of the victims.  

Proposal 5, well-known like the Law of Rehabilitation for the non Violent Aggressor, looks for the annual awarding of 460 million dollars to improve and to expand the resources for the treatment of the drug addicts who comment misdemeanors, and not to send them to the jail.   

And although supporting of this initiative, like the Federation of Consumers of California, the Association of Nurses of California and Liga de Voting Mujeres they argue that the benefits of their approval would reduce the hacinamiento in the prisons, would create programs for the treatment of the drug addiction and he would save to the state million to him dollars in prison expenses, their opponents have labeled it as ‘the constitutional rights for drug addicts’ and argue that its approval would give loose rein him to the addict criminals.  

‘We agree in the creation of rehabilitation programs, but also we create in making responsible the criminals of its acts and Proposal 5 free gives a criminal credit card them without having by its facts’, said to TODAY April Snook, coordinator of programming of Mothers against Conductores Borrachos (MADD), who along with organizations as United Victims of Crime and the Association of Heads of Police of California are against the proposal.   

On the other hand, Zack Kaldveer, spokesman of the Consumer Federation of California, maintained that incarceration is not the key in reducing delinquency rates.

‘Rehabilitation saves money in comparison to sending people to jail. Prop 5 treats the problem of drug addiction as a public health issue rather than a criminal one, just as it should be," said Kaldveer.

Meanwhile, Proposal 6 looks for the financing of an annual state bottom of 965 million dollars for the fulfillment of the police laws. Between the most important points they are: it increases the sentences for certain crimes, like the robbery of cars, the possession of arms into the hands of people with criminal records, the possession and sale of metanfetaminas and the recruitment of smaller gang members of 14 years.   

Proposition 9, on the other hand, would allow that the crime victims receive written notification of their rights and that is allowed to participate them in the penal procedures, inclusively guarantee, pleas, sentences and freedom on one’s word, that are put under its victimarios.

Also, it would consider the security of the victim when determining the guarantee or conditional freedom of its aggressor and simultaneously would restrict the early exit of prisoners due to the hacinamiento in the prisons, among other points.  Adversaries of initiatives 6 and 9 affirm that these only focus in the punishment and the suppression, but not in the intervention and prevention of the crime.  

‘Californian it is the state number one in the country in investing in our jails and penitentiary system, but I number 46 in investments for the education. to be approved proposals 6 and 9, we would be attempting against the education when clearing bottoms ", indicated Maria Brenes, executive director to them of InnerCity Struggle, a communitarian organization who encourages to the voters to vote against these two proposals of law.

Proposals 6 and 9 do not guarantee that there will be more police and do not finance programs for the prevention of the gangs. Worse an, the 6 will deal with the young people 14 years as adult and will criminalize unjustly to immigrants, young people, people of low resources and minorities; whereas 9 threatens the social services of  education, health, and other services when giving more money to the construction and administration of jails, according to Damon Azali-Red, of the Work Community Strategy Center.