Pubdate: Thu, 11 Sep 2003
Source: New Zealand Herald (New Zealand)
Copyright: 2003 New Zealand Herald
Author: Mark Chiddicks


The most idiotic and counter-productive thing any court could do when faced 
with a defendant convicted of a first-time drug offence would be to send 
him to prison. As was admitted during the sentencing of Darren McDonald, 
prisons are awash with drugs, and more people leave them with drug habits 
than go in.

Far better for non-custodial sentenced to be used rather than exposing the 
convicted to more, and harder, drugs. Of course, prison should remain an 
option for repeat offenders, but in a case such as McDonald's, prison would 
help nobody, and possibly worsen the situation. The court did the right thing.

Mark Chiddicks,
- ---
MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart