Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Congrats to Dawn Palmer!

Congrats to my friend and fellow activist Dawn Palmer who had an excellent letter published in the Birmingham News today! Every time I read the two opening sentences I cackle hysterically. That has to be one of the greatest smartass openings ever.

Way to go Dawn!

Letters, faxes, and e-mail
Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Congress has funded our law enforcement officers well, and they have done an excellent job. According to a recent report, 1 in every 100 Americans is in jail or prison. Because our jails and prisons are packed, states have come up with alternatives such as community corrections programs and drug courts in order to divert nonviolent drug offenders away from the prison system to make room for the violent offenders.

Treatment for nonviolent drug offenders is more cost-effective but, due to Congress not wanting to look soft on crime, these programs are underfunded. We need to let members of Congress know they won't be condemned for taking a more compassionate and cost-effective approach to our drug-abuse problem. They need to reform the laws concerning mere drug possession and free up more money for education, prevention and treatment. This could lead to more money to treat all the people with a drug-abuse problem, not just the ones who get caught.

The focus needs to change from arrest, prosecution and incarceration to education, prevention and treatment if we are ever going to see a reduction in our drug-abuse problem. This change in focus, along with the reform of drug-possession laws, would put our tax dollars to better use and be a lot more humane.

Dawn Palmer



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