Wednesday, November 5, 2008
(11-04) 23:04 PST SAN FRANCISCO -- California voters were trouncing a pair of contrasting anti-crime measures, one that aimed to shrink prisons and another that promised to grow them while boosting funding for law enforcement.
Proposition 5 would expand programs to divert drug addicts and nonviolent offenders from prison to rehabilitation. It was designed to keep them from cycling in and out of overcrowded prisons that cost taxpayers more than $10 million a year.
Opponents said the programs were ripe for abuse.
With about a third of precincts reporting, voters were also rejecting Proposition 6, which would require spending at least $965 million a year on programs for police, prosecutors, jails and juvenile lockups - a $365 million increase from current spending, said the state's legislative analyst. The measure would also increase some penalties for convicts.
A third measure backed by crime victims, Proposition 9, held a significant lead. It would allow victims to speak at bail hearings and limit a defendant's ability to gain evidence from a victim before trial. The measure would also limit the release of inmates due to crowding. That could cost hundreds of millions of dollars a year, the legislative analyst said.