Eggman bill establishing drug diversion program signed by Governor

Saturday, October 14, 2017
SACRAMENTO –On Saturday Assembly Bill 208 by Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton), to convert the state’s existing deferred entry of judgment program for nonviolent, misdemeanor drug offenses to a pretrial diversion program, was signed by Governor Brown. 
According to the Institute for Criminal Policy Research, World Prison Brief, the United States has the second highest rate of incarceration in the world– largely the result of a failed war on drugs which led to the mass incarceration of drug users. In May 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced his plan to roll back Obama Administration policies and restore mandatory minimums which have proven ineffective at reducing drug use.
“AB 208 is consistent with the goal of reducing incarceration rates. There is no better time than now to protect those who have taken measures to better themselves from harsh federal actions,” Eggman said. “This bill simply allows a defendant to access treatment before having to enter a guilty plea if they qualify and the judge determines that they would benefit from a treatment program.” 
The bill will convert the existing post-plea system for qualified drug possession offenders to a pre-plea system.  Under this system eligible defendants would be admitted to an education and treatment program prior to conviction and granted dismissal of the charges upon successful completion of the program. Under the current system, the defendant may still face federal consequences, including deportation if the defendant is undocumented, or the prohibition from becoming a citizen if the defendant is a legal permanent resident.  
For immediate release