Pubdate: Sat, 15 Jun 2002
Source: Rutland Herald (VT)
Copyright: 2002 Rutland Herald
Author: Lorin Duckman


Any treatment is better than none. Day after day I argue on behalf of drug 
rehabilitation for clients financially unable to afford counsel or 
treatment. I understand the problems of addiction and the availability of 
programs in Vermont. Just because I don't see Serenity House, an acute-care 
facility, or Grace House as a proper placement for a person with behavioral 
and "THC" problems shouldn't cause my remarks to be called ignorant. That 
hardly advances the discussion.

Vermont in general and Rutland in particular need more treatment beds 
offering a wider variety of services for its citizens suffering from 
alcohol and chemical dependency. Some of them are dual diagnosed, suffering 
from additional mental illnesses not related to the substance abuse. 
Sometimes it is not in the best interest of a person who has smoked too 
much weed to examine his problems in a group made up of heroin users and 
alcoholics. The accused ended up staying in jail for not having the bail 
set by Judge Corsones, a terrible place for someone who was sitting on a 
stoop listening to his radio too loudly. Sadly, the writer of the letter 
and the editor who placed the pejorative word atop the letter weren't 
present to hear the entire argument, taking the comments I made out of 
context and misinterpreting that which was reported.

I meant no discourtesy to these two most important facilities. Neither has 
enough beds, counselors, or job training and education opportunities. 
Nonetheless, anytime I can convince a judge to send a client who is willing 
to accept treatment to rehab instead of jail, the community wins. The 
citizen receives treatment; the system saves by avoiding the costs of 
incarceration; and the risk of recidivism is reduced because the person has 
controlled the problem which caused the anti-social and sometimes illegal 
conduct which brought the case before the court in the first place.

What is most interesting is that the attack this time came from my own 
constituency. But from where I stand in court, anything that gets the 
discussion out in the open helps the cause. Don't incarcerate, rehabilitate.


- ---
MAP posted-by: Beth