Pubdate: Sat, 06 Aug 2005
Source: Berkshire Eagle, The (Pittsfield, MA)
Contact:  2005 New England Newspapers, Inc.
Author: Monica Wagner
Bookmark: (Youth)
Bookmark: (Drug-Free Zones)
Bookmark: (Incarceration)


To the Editor of THE EAGLE:

There seems to be a widespread impression that the Concerned Citizens 
for Appropriate Justice believe that there should be one drug policy 
for south Berkshire County and another policy for the rest of 
Berkshire County. That could not be further from the truth.

CCAJ believes that the district attorney's current policy -- i. e, 
every person who sells drugs in a school zone should be convicted of 
a school zone violation and spend a minimum of two years in jail even 
if the drug sold is small amounts of marijuana, the person has no 
prior record, and the buyer was  not a school child -- should be 
changed for all of Berkshire County. It is correct that CCAJ was 
formed in response to the arrests of young people after an undercover 
operation in Great Barrington. For better or for worse, most of us 
- --  whether we live in Pittsfield, North Adams, or Great Barrington 
- -- pay closer attention to what is happening to our own kids and our 
neighbors' kids than to  the kids in another town. Nonetheless, CCAJ 
seeks a fair and effective drug  policy for the entire county, not 
just south county. It would be unfortunate if the DA's current policy 
remained in effect for all of Berkshire County -- black and white and 
Hispanic, middle class and poor and  affluent -- simply because the 
young people currently facing two years in jail  are from south county.

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