AB 890 - SUPPORT (Fentanyl panel)
Chair, Assembly Committee on Public Safety
1020 N Street, Room 111
Sacramento, CA 95812-4036
Re: Assembly Bill 890 – SUPPORT
Dear Chairman Jones-Sawyer and Assembly Public Safety Committee members,
On behalf of the California District Attorneys Association, I am writing in support of Assembly Bill 890 and to acknowledge the collaborative, educational approach this bill brings to the fentanyl conversation.
Assembly Bill 890 will require a defendant granted probation for a violation of Section 11350, 11351, or 11352 involving any amount of fentanyl, , benzimidazole opiate, or an analog thereof to complete a fentanyl and synthetic opiate education program. This bill will also require the State Department of Public Health to develop guidelines for the development of the classes, while allowing local probation departments to design and implement their own programs within those guidelines.
Fentanyl is devastating our communities. This crisis is ripping families apart from all walks of life and changing the criminal justice landscape. We believe education will be critical in preventing future victims, as well as defendants of the fentanyl crisis. As district attorney offices, our mission is not to incarcerate individuals, our mission is to help save lives. Our collective offices across the state are equally committed to seeking proactive and preventative measures to reduce the number of fentanyl-related death cases referred to our prosecutors. Statewide One Pill Kill campaigns show the advantages of bringing public health, education, community leaders and law enforcement to the table to tackle this critical issue. We believe this bill is a reasonable policy extension of those efforts.
Prior to the devastation of the fentanyl crisis, drug or opioid-related deaths were considered overdoses, rather than poisonings. The lethality of fentanyl has changed the approach to these tragedies at every level in the criminal justice process, which has increased the need for education to those convicted of selling this dangerous drug. Even if a local educational program inspired from this legislation saves one life and deters one seller, it would be worthwhile.
On the Feb. 14 hearing this committee voiced their interest in reviewing more education-based approaches to the fentanyl crisis and we believe this legislation is a viable policy opportunity for committee members to support. We hope this legislation is the beginning of many innovative approaches to that incentives defendants to take advantage of the positive rehabilitation programs being implemented in our local counties, while working to prevent future tragedies. As an association, we also look forward to continuing these important conversations with your committee members and the broader Legislature at large regarding the fentanyl crisis.
For these reasons, I hope you will consider your support of Assembly Bill 890.
Placer County District Attorney
10810 Justice Center Drive #240
Roseville, CA 65678