Summary and Analysis

A California proposal from Governor Gavin Newsom would reportedly force those who are homeless and addicted and those suffering from mental illnesses into treatment. If these individuals don’t comply with the mandated treatment, they could be placed into conservatorships, a form of court-appointed guardianship that strips people of their rights to make basic decisions about their lives and care. Civil rights groups have raised alarms at Governor Gavin Newsom’s plans, calling his recommended measures “draconian.”

This proposal raises the long-debated issue as to whether or not addicts should be forced into treatment. Maia Szalavitz, a former cocaine and heroin addict,  weighed in on this subject in an op-ed published in the NY Times. She is also the author or co-author of seven books and a 2015-16 Soros Justice Fellow. Her main point is that we should be attracting people to addiction treatment, not forcing them into it. She notes that “the most effective addiction therapies are kind, welcoming and supportive, not harsh and confrontational.” To read her article, CLICK HERE.

Excerpted from The Guardian

Governor Gavin Newsom of California has proposed a court program that would force unhoused people with severe mental illnesses and addiction disorders into treatment. The moves comes in response to a worsening humanitarian crisis of people living on the streets, but has raised concerns from disability rights and civil liberties advocates. According to the proposed plan, those who do not follow through with the treatment could be forced into conservatorships.

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