Pubdate: Sat, 15 Nov 2003
Source: Gleaner, The (Henderson, KY)
Copyright: 2003 The E.W. Scripps Co
Author: Roy N. Pullam
Note: Requires 'Letter to editor' in the subject line of e-mail



Judge Wiederstein and Judge Hayden took a courageous position to seek
a drug court. Many parents and community leaders had prayed for years
that something would be done to salvage our children from the epidemic
of drug abuse. Just like with polio, cerebral palsy or cancer, drug
abuse has a dreaded effect on the community and the family.

The judges recognized several years ago that the criminal justice
system was not working. In fact, the concept of locking drug abusers
up only made novice criminals more polished and more desperate.
Something different had to be done.

Judge Wiedersten's group and the adult court group headed by Judge
Hayden gave up a leisure time and in many cases a lot of disposable
income to bring the drug court here to Henderson. I was so
disappointed that the juvenile court was not funded. I know Judge
Wiederstein is not the kind to give up, but this is so

We, on the adult court team, are preparing our model and hoping that
our program will be funded. However, if we should face a common fate
with the juvenile drug court, we will not give up on our friends and
neighbors. We must succeed. We do not have the option of failure. The
clients of our programs are our people, our children languishing for
want of another chance.

The measure of success is the adversity faced. Ours is no wimp of an
opponent. We can "Say No" until we grow too hoarse to speak, but that
has not worked. We now have to marshal every bit of influence we can
muster to see that the proposals are funded and the resources have a
positive impact on the problem.

Roy N. Pullam

- ---
MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin