Pubdate: Sun, 22 May 2005
Source: Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA)
Copyright: 2005 Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Authors: Ralph W. Anderson Jr
Bookmark: (Incarceration)
Bookmark: (Treatment)
Note: Source rarely prints LTEs received from outside its circulation area


I would like to applaud the "As I See It" column by Patrick A. Fox, first 
justice of the District Court in Gardner, titled, "Emphasis on drug 
treatment would ease crime problem" (Telegram & Gazette, May 2).

Retired Judge Milton H. Raphaelson was a pioneer in addressing substance 
abuse problems through the judicial system in the 1980s and 1990s, for 
which he received a great deal of pressure from law enforcement and court 
officials because of his belief in the need to treat substance abuse within 
the criminal system.

As Judge Fox suggests, as Judge Raphaelson did before him, it doesn't make 
any sense for the criminal system to be increasing funding for 
incarceration, while at the same time there is such a woeful inadequacy in 
the funding for substance abuse treatment programs. Unfortunately, the 
"system" continues to be in denial. Certainly, political correctness in our 
society continues to frame this problem in terms of criminal activities, 
instead of addiction and substance abuse problems.

In summary, what continues to be needed is a massive education program and 
a substantial increase in funding for good, solid treatment programs.

Ralph W. Anderson Jr.

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