Pubdate: Wed, 15 Mar 2006
Source: Evansville Courier & Press (IN)
Copyright: 2006 The Evansville Courier Company
Author: Paul Herron III



I want to salute Sen. Dorsey Ridley for voting for SB  245. SB 245 
was a bipartisan effort to give our  prosecuting attorney's and 
judges more options when  sentencing individuals who have been 
arrested for drug  related crimes. Long term residential treatment 
and  after-care programs are critical to returning many of  these 
individuals to society.

Kentucky's public defender work load is up 40 percent  since 2000 and 
it is primarily from the increasing  number of substance abuse related crimes.

The unfortunate failure of today's system is that  incarceration and 
permanent felony records are the  preferred method for future deterrence.

With an 80 percent chance of re-offending within a year  this system 
creates a revolving door at the county jail  and prisons across the 

Taxpayers are shouldering the burden of the increased  cost of 
incarceration and medical treatment for  substance abuse offenders. 
SB 245 creates a voluntary  program takes the cost of incarceration 
from somewhere  around $40,000 per year to $3,000 per year plus 
it  places the burden of recovery on the person who will  benefit 
from it the most.

I encourage Rep. Gross Lindsey to support SB245 and the  addition of 
an emergency clause so that this optional  tool can be used immediately.

Paul Herron III

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