Pubdate: Tue, 09 Nov 2004
Source: Johnson City Press (TN)
Copyright: 2004 Johnson City Press
Author: Marianne Steffey



In response to a recent editorial suggesting meth abusers
should see longer jail times for the crime, I agree that meth
manufacturers should not get off with a simple slap on the wrist.

However, I do not think longer jail terms are the answer. The
statistics quoted in the editorial are staggering and prove that
Tennessee really has a big drug problem.

I have a better suggestion. If it is a first offense, I propose
sentencing them to six months in prison, then sending them to a
rehabilitation center. Let the convicted pay for the rehabilitation
and the clean up of the toxic waste that is produced from the
manufacturing of crystal meth out of their own pockets.

Instead of shoving them further into depression and addiction, which
incarceration tends to do, give them a chance to repair their mistakes
and become citizens capable of giving back to society.

It is ironic that the Press also noted in a later editorial that local
jails have a problem with overcrowding, yet endorses sending more
people to jail for longer periods.

Most people believe that sending people to jail is the answer, but if
we look at the crime on a case-by-case basis, incarceration does not
benefit society or the person in question.

We need to come up with a plan to release the ever-tightening grip
drugs have on our society. Jail time is not that answer.


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