Pubdate: Tue, 24 August 1999
Source: Fresno Bee, The (CA)
Copyright: 1999 The Fresno Bee
Author: J.E. Giroux


With the removal of Judge Jane York from Drug Court, another blow has been
dealt to drug addicts. The importance of collaborative efforts in our
communities to create real change cannot be emphasized enough. Drug Court is
a part of the effort and obviously Judge York has made a positive impact on
drug addicts in the court.

There's ample proof that substance abuse and addiction respond to treatment,
yet much of society is willing to spend more to imprison people addicted to
drugs than to help them kick the habit. We need to ask, why?

The war on drugs is an expensive failure for its futile efforts to stop the
drug supply, instead of relying on a much cheaper alternative: drug
treatment and prevention. A recent broadcast by Geraldo Rivera, entitled
"Drug Bust," painted a realistic picture of the problem and the solution.

We need people like Judge York who divert drug addicts from prison to
treatment. Drug addicts are not "bad" people; they are sick people who
deserve a chance to get well.

J.E. Giroux, Fresno

- ---
MAP posted-by: Jo-D