In the year since California voters approved Proposition 47, there has been a flurry of speculation about the future of drug courts in this state. Proposition 47 reduced the majority of drug and property offenses in California from felonies to misdemeanors, meaning that many offenders no longer face the possibility of state prison. Critics have suggested that removing the heavy stick of incarceration necessarily makes drug courts less effective.
It's true that, under Proposition 47, enrollment in some drug courts has dropped. This is not surprising. After all, eligibility for many drug courts requires a felony conviction, and participation is optional.