For offenders with prior drug convictions, and who qualify, a drug treatment program commonly known as “Prop 36” (Penal Code section 1210) is available. Prop 36 requires a more structured drug treatment and placement program, usually in a licensed, residential (live-in) program for a minimum of 90 days and up to one year. Similar to pre-trial diversion, successful completion of the Prop 36 program will also earn the defendant the right to have the case dismissed, assuming the defendant does not re-offend for the remaining portion of his/her probation (up to 18 months total).
If there is a violation involving a new arrest or the defendant abandons his/her treatment program, the judge will have discretion to re-refer the defendant back to the program. If, however, the judge does not allow the defendant back to the program, the defendant may be sentenced up to the maximum time in custody – one year in county jail. Given that there are costs associated with pre-trial diversion or Prop 36, it is imperative that defendants seek out insurance options, or even Medicaid, to offset these costs. Especially in drug possession cases, where residential treatment is going to be required, it can often be helpful to speak with an attorney who can guide the client to a drug treatment & placement service, such as Recovery Network Resources (Pasadena, California). Such offices not only assist with helping clients find a suitable drug treatment facility, but can also offer assistance in seeking government-assisted funding for treatment, as well as transportation to the treatment facility itself.