Pubdate: Tue, 26 Mar 2002
Source: Ada Evening News, The (OK)
Copyright: 2002 The Ada Evening News
Author: Jimmy Ivey
Note: Title by MAP Editor


Dear Editor:

This is in response to the article, "Speed Kills," Feb. 20, 2002 by Joyce 
Mashburn. She has done her homework, A plus.

Oklahoma could declare the Methamphetamine problem an epidemic. It is a 
very serious problem. For every lab shut down, one or two more open shop. 
You might even compare it to terrorist operations. Set up, cook, change 

Here are some staggering statistics:

Roughly 11 cents out of every tax dollar goes toward locking offenders up.

Budget for 2002 is approximately 430.7 million dollars for DOC.

60 percent of inmates are in for nonviolent crimes.

45 percent of inmates are in for drug and alcohol related crimes.

1 in 3 will come back to prison.

State Sen. Dick Wilkerson, D-Atwood, said, "The majority of criminals are 
non-violent, but we make decisions with the mental picture of the multiple 
murderer and general bad guy in mind."

State Rep. Ron Kirby, D-Lawton, said, "We hand out years of incarceration 
like candy. The laws are already tough enough - but we try to double it - 
if we give one year for jaywalking, we say 'two would be better'."

Those who are on parole, generally tend to stay clean and out of trouble 
more so than those who discharge their sentences, since they have to be 
accountable to a parole officer.

Those who say, "Speed Kills," are right. But, let's tell the rest of the story.

Speed impairs the ability to make rational decisions.

Speed causes violent behavior in the user.

Speed leads to other crimes in order to feed the users addiction.

Speed costs the taxpayer millions of dollars each year in prison cost, 
health care costs, property loss, treatment, court costs, etc.

Speed breaks families apart.

Speed destroys marriages.

Speed destroys life itself. Speed does kill.

That age old question, "Why did the chicken cross the road," can be 
answered: So he could show the armadillo and skunk it could be done. One in 
three make it. The other two become road kill.

On the flip side one out of three will not come back to prison. The other 2 
will. An addict can change. But he has to have the desire to change. I 
know, I'm an addict doing my second incarceration. 20 years. "Friends, 
don't sell friends drugs."

Jimmy Ivey

Hodgen, Oklahoma
- ---
MAP posted-by: Beth