Ads attack Rodriguez’s opposition to Reisig’s drug treatment plan

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By Robert J. Hansen

Woodland, CA – Yolo County District Attorney candidate Cynthia Rodriquez was attacked in a recent ad paid for by the California Association of Correctional Peace Officers claiming that she does not support government-backed mental health and addiction treatment.

Rodriquez fully supports government mental health and addiction treatment programs, but not AB 1928 or its predecessor AB 1542 which provides addiction treatment for those convicted of drug convictions.

“Not offering rehab until people need to be in prison flies in the face of everything we know about treatment success,” Rodriquez said.

Rodriquez thinks rehabilitation should be offered in the community before individuals face jail time and that Assemblyman Kevin McCarty’s AB 1928, sponsored by Yolo DA Jeff Reisig, is more money for the courts, not for the community.

“We take money and instead dedicate it to the community and use it in prison. We have a history of taking those funds meant to help the Yolo County community and using them to keep people incarcerated,” Rodriquez said.

Rodriquez is “absolutely in favor” of community programs and community resources being spent in the community, not in the prison.

“To twist this and try to give the impression that I don’t want to help people with mental health or drug issues,” Rodriquez said. “It’s the contrary.”

She said she wanted to use the most effective tools to help addiction and mental illness that are found in the community and not in jails or jails.

“All of the (rated) experts on addiction treatment and successful addiction management are done voluntarily on the outside and not in custody,” Rodriquez said.

Rodriquez said Yolo’s public defender Tracie Olson said it best when she said she was giving the prosecutor all kinds of tools that are not needed in this situation.

At April 12 Yolo County Board of Supervisors (BOS) meetingYolo Public Defender Olson said AB 1928 is very similar to the California Rehabilitation Center (CRC), a northern California prison that had a program called the Civil Addict Program (CAP).

“I haven’t had any experts explain to me why it didn’t work, but what I’ve seen is customers coming in and out of this program over and over again,” said Olson. “Simply because they weren’t ready.”

Olson also said that this program encourages jail time because the prosecutor decides which offenses to charge, which to dismiss, and whether jail should be offered according to Olson.

“What’s seen as a great treatment program is only offered with a jail sentence, that’s what we’ll get,” Olson said.

Ian Evans of the Yolo County Health and Human Services Agency also shared his concerns with AB 1928 at the BOS meeting.

Evans said the bill contains confusing language that allows either a judge to determine the duration of treatment or treatment providers and that decision should be made by trained professionals, not the courts.

“There are other aspects of this bill that are concerning, either because they are contradictory or based on previously debunked approaches to forced or coerced treatment,” Evans said.

Tyler Rinde of the California Association of Alcohol and Drug Treatment Executives, an organization that advocates for high quality services that treat substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health issues, opposed AB 1928 during the April 12 meeting of the BOS.

“We believe there needs to be additional funding for treatment beds, the ability to cite program expansion, harm reduction and overdose prevention practices, and significant investment in sober living environments. “, said Rinde during the meeting.

Rinde said overall there is not enough funding for substance use disorders, as 85% of funding received for behavioral health goes to mental health services, leaving the remaining 15% to substance use.

Rinde also explained why the bill will not pass.

“First and foremost, coerced and locked addiction care is not effective,” Rinde said.

Rinde said 37 states allow a family member to ask the court to order people into treatment, and a Massachusetts Department of Mental Health study found those committed were more than twice as likely to die of an opioid-related overdose than those who voluntarily do so. went into treatment.

“Addiction care is most successful when an individual has an internal motivation to change,” Rinde said.

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