Pubdate: Sat, 19 Feb 2011
Source: Albany Herald, The (GA)
Copyright: 2011 The Albany Herald Publishing Company, Inc.
Author: Bill Bates


The new governor of Georgia has formed a commission to "review 
Georgia's tough sentencing law to determine what changes can be made 
to protect the public" in order to reduce the cost of Georgia's 
prison population by releasing "non-violent" offenders to local 
communities. Many of the released are drug offenders.

It was nice to learn that people in prison for drug offenses are 
considered "non-violent."

I wonder who decided drug offenders are non-violent? So just where 
does such thinking believe these users get their drugs? I suppose 
they think that after a hard day's work at a legitimate job, they go 
to the corner store and buy their drugs, just like visiting a store 
that sells legal alcohol. They buy from a drug cartel, which is 
nothing but violent (think Mexico). These non-violent offenders who 
are released back into local communities, more than likely have long 
histories of drug offenses and will continue their use by buying from 
local distributors who are linked to the cartels.

The only way that such a suggestion of releasing non-violet drug 
users back into the community might work is with a state-of-the-art 
recovery program to rehabilitate users. Since the objective of 
releasing prisoners is to save money, lots of luck on funding any 
comprehensive program.

The best way to curb prison cost is education and early intervention. 
What can we expect if such a release program is adopted? Simple -- 
more "non-violent" drug users locally buying more "non-violent" drugs 
with money obtain by "non-violent" means, such as burglaries, car 
jacking, robberies and anyway money can be obtained to continue their 
"non-violent" ways.

Bill Bates, Albany 
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