Pubdate: Thu, 11 May 2000
Source: Idaho State Journal (ID)
Copyright: 2000 Idaho State Journal
Contact:  PO Box 431, Pocatello ID 83204
Fax: 208-233-8007
Author: Tina Granger


We have all heard that justice is blind, but I am wondering if it is
irrational, too. Now I completely believe we need to have an active role in
stopping the drug problem sweeping our country, but are the courts handling
our young drug offenders in a way that gets the results desired by the

Let me share with you what I witnessed in a local courtroom and then you
decide. The defendant was a 19-year-old girl who was charged with possession
of a small amount of a controlled substance.

She had a prior record which was all drug-related, and admitted that she had
a serious drug problem. She requested some form of drug treatment and
realized that it was her choices that got her in this position. She was
willing to pay the cost for treatment herself.

The judge obviously didn't see what I did. A young girl with a trust fund
and an addiction asking for help. He told her that he didn't think she "got
it" and maybe when she got out she would be old enough to understand. So
when our troubled youth get involved with drugs and appear in court and
don't get it, we don't send them to a place where they can learn to make
better choices to help them live a drug-free life and "get it."

Instead, we give them three years fixed in prison so they can learn from
older convicts how to be good at what we made them: A criminal.

Tina Granger,
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