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Initiative 62, Treatment Instead of Jail for Certain Non-Violent Drug Offenders Initiative of 2002
DC Campaign for Treatment

October 2002

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Treatment Instead Of Jail

For Certain Non-Violent Drug Offenders
Initiative of 2002

Measure 62 Will:

  • Improve public health by reducing drug abuse through proven and effective treatment strategies.
  • Enhance public safety by reducing drug-related crime.
  • Preserve jail and prison cells for serious and violent offenders.

Need for Drug Treatment

The voters of the District of Columbia recognize that substance abuse and addiction are serious problems that are often best addressed by substance abuse treatment. Society is better served by treatment and rehabilitation than by incarceration of nonviolent drug users. Treatment plays a critical role in the recovery of people who suffer from substance abuse and addiction. Substance abuse treatment is a more effective means of reducing drug use and abuse than incarceration of first and second time offenders of illegal use and possession of controlled substances.

Note on Funding

Measure 62 cannot allocate funds. However, a vote in favor of this initiative puts District residents on record in favor of treatment instead of incarceration. The DC Campaign for Treatment and Drug Policy Alliance will work with community stakeholders to fund treatment through public and private means.

Measure 62 will save children of incarcerated non-violent, low level drug offenders from foster care placement.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is Measure 62?

Measure 62 is the "Treatment Instead of Jail for Certain Non-Violent Drug Offenders Initiative of 2002." Measure 62 has been certified by the DC Board of Elections and Ethics to appear on the November ballot. If passed, Measure 62 will provide substance abuse treatment instead of conviction or imprisonment to eligible, non-violent defendants charged with illegal possession or use of drugs.

Have other states tried similar policies?

Yes! Voters have enacted similar "treatment instead of incarceration" initiatives in Arizona (Proposition 200, 1996) and California (Proposition 36, 2000). The Hawaii legislature has enacted similar legislation this year. Additionally, voters in Michigan and Ohio will vote on "treatment instead of incarceration" initiatives in November.

What has been the outcome in other states adopting "treatment instead of incarceration" policy? 

An analysis by the Arizona Supreme Court found that Proposition 200 diverted 2,600 non-violent offenders into drug treatment in its first year, saving Arizona taxpayers $2.56 million. A follow-up Supreme Court study in 2001 found that Proposition 200 resulted in more than a $6 million taxpayer savings in prison costs during its second year of implementation. California's Legislative Analyst's Office estimates that Proposition 36 will divert more than 30,000 drug offenders per year into treatment, saving California taxpayers approximately $1.5 billion over the next five years. In addition, California has increased the number of licensed and certified substance abuse slots by 68%.

To Learn More:

Log on to 
or contact Opio Sokoni, 
Measure 62 Campaign Coordinator 
(202) 216-0035 ext. 203 
or email

Measure 62
Purposes and Intentions:

To break the cycle of drug use, addiction and crime.

To guarantee treatment and rehabilitation services to nonviolent drug users entering the criminal justice system.

To rest primary responsibility for the supervision of non-violent defendants charged with drug possession or use with community-based treatment providers, including those staffed by members of the community.

To ensure that drug testing is used as a treatment tool, with relapse understood to be a part of the process of recovery and not an occasion for punishment.

To supplement the availability of drug treatment and rehabilitation and to address the diverse cultural, gender and addiction needs of drug users and abusers in the District of Columbia.

Treatment Instead of Jail

For Certain Non-Violent Drug Offenders
Initiative of 2002

Election Day:
November 5, 2002

DC Campaign for Treatment
Opio Sokoni, J.D.
Measure 62 Campaign Coordinator
(202) 216-0035 ext.. 203
Paid for by DC Campaign for Treatment

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