Pubdate: Wed, 25 Feb 2015
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 2015 Los Angeles Times
Author: Peter Laarman


Re "Catch and release," Feb. 22

It's unfortunate to see law enforcement leaders take the line that 
locking up problem drug users or threatening them with felony jail 
time is the way to get them straightened out. Law enforcement never 
liked Proposition 47 and actively tried to kill it, but its pique 
doesn't justify misrepresenting what the evidence tells us about 
addiction and recovery.

What the evidence shows is that court-ordered treatment usually ends 
in relapse. Treatment that people seek on their own has a far greater 
likelihood of success.

Rather than try to discredit Proposition 47, law enforcement should 
be grateful that the new law allows it to focus on serious and 
violent crime rather than chase people who definitely need help, but 
not the kind of "help" they will get from legal sanctions.

Peter Laarman

West Hollywood The writer is coordinator of Justice Not Jails.
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