Just Cause or Just Because? Prosecution and Plea-Bargaining Resulting in Prison Sentences on Low-Level Drug Charges in California and Arizona

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Arizona and California have passed ballot initiatives that were expected to divert minor, nonviolent drug offenders from incarceration to treatment. But what are the characteristics of imprisoned low-level drug offenders? Did the quantity or type of drug involved influence the prosecution pattern, and were there differences across racial groups in the prosecution of low-level drug offenders? This study is intended to fill those knowledge gaps.