California Bar Journal
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Chief Justice George appoints committee to assist courts with Prop. 36
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Chief Justice Ronald M. George has appointed a 24-member panel to assist California’s trial courts in implementing Proposition 36, the statewide ballot initiative that will substantially change the way the California criminal justice system responds to drug problems.

Approved by voters in November, the initiative generally prescribes treatment rather than incarceration for non-violent drug offenses. The measure takes effect July 1.

The Proposition 36 Implemen-tation Workgroup is chaired by Butte County Superior Court Judge Darrell W. Stevens, current chair of the Collaborative Justice Courts Advisory Committee.

It includes representatives from the offices of the governor and the attorney general, the legislature, and the judicial branch, including appellate justices, drug court judges, drug court coordinators, a district attorney, a public defender, probation services representatives and others.

Among its goals, the group is to make a variety of recommendations about legal and policy issues related to Prop. 36, develop court and treatment models to insure the availability of services, recommend standards to ensure the quality of treatment providers and analyze the initiative’s fiscal effects.

It also is meant to serve as a clearinghouse for ideas, questions and comments generated from trial courts and others as they prepare for implementation of the initiative.