SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/BCN) — California ended mandatory minimum jail sentences for non-violent drug offenses after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a new bill on Tuesday.
The bill, Senate Bill 73, was authored by state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, who said it will help end mass incarceration and what he called the state’s war on drugs.READ MORE: Flash Flood Watches Issued As Storm Aims at Fire-Scarred Northern California
“Our prisons and jails are filled with people — particularly from communities of color — who have committed low-level, nonviolent drug offenses and who would be much better served by non-carceral options like probation, rehabilitation and treatment,” he said.
The legislation goes into effect Jan. 1.READ MORE: Amid the Capitol Riot, Facebook Faced Its Own Insurrection
The law will allow courts to grant probation or suspend sentences — a practice currently prohibited by state law — for people convicted of non-violent drug offenses and would impose state-mandated programs, according to an analysis by the state’s legislative’s counsel.
Once the new law is in effect, it will also give judges more sentencing options, Wiener said.
Co-authors of the legislation include Assemblymembers Wendy Carrillo, D-Los Angeles, Sydney Kamlager, D-Los Angeles, David Chiu, D-San Francisco, Buffy Wicks, D-Oakland and Sen. Steven Bradford, D-Los Angeles. It was sponsored by the Drug Policy Alliance.MORE NEWS: US Rowing Accepts Resignation of Longtime Men's Coach Mike Teti
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