Pubdate: Thu, 12 Feb 2004
Source: Daily Press (VA)
Copyright: 2004 The Daily Press
Author: Bonita Williams
Bookmark: (Drug Courts)


A comment on the Jan. 30 article "Drug court class is arrested." I 
understand that the nonviolent participants involved in this program had 
rules to follow, but there was no need to punish the whole group, 
especially since they were not supervised.

I have a family member who was arrested on a drug possession charge and 
learned a lesson behind becoming an addict. This drug court was the best 
thing that ever happened; the person has a new look and a positive attitude 
in life because of this program. I could not be a part of the family 
member's life during the time of the drug addiction because of my 
profession, and it devastated me a great deal.

How can the court system expect ex-convicts to report to required meetings 
unsupervised? If the court system approved of this new program and did not 
plan for what may happen, how do they expect it to work?

I understand that Hampton was trying this program because the city of 
Newport News started one in 1998. Hampton courts officials knew they were 
going to start a new drug court program and had five years to evaluate 
Newport News' program prior to the start of Hampton's in 2003.

Punish those who do not follow the program, not the whole group.

Bonita Williams

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