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Yes on Prop 5 Unveils Effective Commercials

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This ad is the first Yes on Prop 5 spot and is entitled "Warden." It features Jeanne Woodford, former warden of San Quentin State Prison and former Director of the California Department of Corrections. Against a backdrop of images of San Quentin, she speaks of her 25 years working at the prison, where she began as a prison guard. "Let me tell you," Woodford says, "too many of the men I dealt with started out as kids with drug problems. But California doesn't have treatment for kids." She goes on to say that the youth treatment provisions of Prop. 5 are one of its main draws for her. "I can't tell you how good I feel," Woodford says, "when I think of all those kids who will never wind up in prison."

And another ad from their campaign, titled "Success Story":

In other related news, lawyer Alex Kreit wrote a piece in the LA Times, aiming to clear up some myths bouncing around about Prop 5. Two clarifications from that piece are excerpted below:

Misleading claim: Criminals could escape imprisonment by saying "drugs made me do it." There is no such magic phrase to qualify for treatment instead of prison. Under Proposition 5, only nonviolent drug offenders with minimal criminal histories are eligible for treatment in lieu of incarceration. Judges would have the discretion to put a limited category of other nonviolent offenders in probation-supervised treatment, but only if the judge finds that the offense was nonviolent, that the nonviolent offender has a drug problem and that it is in the best interests of public safety to put that nonviolent offender on probation and in community-based treatment.

Misleading claim: Proposition 5 would allow violent criminals to escape prison terms and receive treatment instead.

Any offense involving any form of violence, threat of violence or harm to another -- or any offense dubbed serious under the "three strikes" law -- would be disqualified from eligibility under Proposition 5. This would include burglary and arson, for example -- two offenses often listed by opponents.

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