Pubdate: Mon, 29 May 2000
Date: 05/29/2000
Source: New York Times (NY)
Author: David Rothenberg
Authors: David Rothenberg

To the Editor:
"Drug Laws That Destroy Lives" (editorial, May 24) is on target.

So many politicians and criminal justice experts privately admit that
the Rockefeller laws are self-defeating and costly and should be
repealed. Why the delay?

First, several upstate communities are prison towns.

Their economies would be in a state of upheaval if the prison
population decreased as a result of sensible drug laws.

Jobs are at stake and alternative employment must be part of the

Second, many products, from soap to steel, have lucrative contracts
with the Department of Correction. They view a diminishing prison
population as one that causes decreasing profits.

Your editorial's position must be accompanied by plans to incorporate
the real needs of those who profit from prisons.

New York, May 24, 2000