Majority of third-strike jail inmates addicts, study finds before California votes

Jail inmates imprisoned under California’s three strikes law are no more prone to high-risk “criminal thinking” than others — but are far more likely to be addicted to drugs and alcohol than other inmates, according to an analysis of state data.

California Watch — a nonprofit and nonpartisan investigative reporting group — and the San Francisco Chronicle requested the data on thousands of inmates. They studied their education, psychological and substance abuse profiles.

Nearly 70 percent of convicts with a third strike have a high need for substance abuse treatment, compared to 48 percent of all inmates, California Watch writes.

The study comes as California voters will be asked to vote Nov. 6 on a three strikes law.

California Watch’s Marisa Lagos and Ryan Gabrielson wrote:

The never-before-released data could play an important role for critics and supporters of California’s three strike’s law, amid a dramatic year for criminal justice reform. Thousands of inmates are being transferred to county jails under a realignment plan championed by Gov. Jerry Brown, and voters are being asked to alter the state’s three strikes initiative with a ballot measure in November.