Pubdate: Tue, 08 Jun 2004
Source: Pacific Daily News (Guam)
Copyright: 2004 Pacific Daily News
Author: Roy Ausec
Note: Roy Ausec is a senior at the University of Guam studying for a 
Bachelor of Social Work.
Bookmark: (Drug Courts)
Bookmark: (McCaffrey, Barry)


"For the good of our society we must answer this question based on science 
not politics. We must focus objectively on the evidence, not subjectively 
based on what we have done in the past. We must address a public health 
issue with serious consequences for society -- substance abuse and drug 
addiction -- within the context of the criminal justice system. It is 
irresponsible not to do so."

Barry R. McCaffrey, director, Office of National Drug Control Policy

Yes, the government of Guam should fund the Juvenile Drug Court. One reason 
is that the drug court works. There are numerous studies across the nation 
to back this statement.

Studies have also shown a strong correlation between substance abuse and 
lawlessness. It is understandable that the government may hesitate to fund 
the Juvenile Drug Court because of the government of Guam's financial 
situation, but when you examine the literature concerning the 
cost-effectiveness of drug courts and the monies saved as a result of 
reduction in crime and health costs, it is self-evident that the Juvenile 
Drug Court is a good investment.

William Murphy, former president of the National District Attorneys 
Association, stated, "Simply warehousing prisoners without regard to 
addressing and dealing with the underlying problem of substance abuse 
produces unending tax payer costs."

Rep. Charles Rangel said that he questions the "efficacy of incarcerating 
thousands of non-violent first time offenders .. most inmates are not 
chronic criminals when they enter the justice system, but by the time they 
are reintroduced into society, many have earned a PH.D. in criminality."

The goals of drug treatment, in addition to stopping drug abuse, may 
include; helping the user develop educational or vocational capabilities; 
restoring or increasing employment; reducing criminal activity; changing 
the users' values; improving the users' family life, health and 
psychological functioning.

Many of our elected leaders were elected because they voiced that they were 
concerned with public safety, the health of our community and our children. 
Our island's drug court situation is a perfect opportunity for our leaders 
to make true their campaign promises.
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MAP posted-by: Terry Liittschwager