Pubdate: Fri, 03 Jun 2005
Source: Free Lance-Star, The (VA)
Copyright: 2005 The Free Lance-Star
Author: Connie Dodson
Bookmark: (Incarceration)
Bookmark: (Treatment)


I'm writing this letter for all the people who live in Virginia and have a 
drug problem. This is a fast-growing problem that has caused heartache for 
a lot of people and their families.

We are building new prisons every day to house criminals, but what about 
rehabilitation centers for addicts? There isn't enough help available for 
those with drug problems, so our prisons are overcrowded with people who 
commit crimes to support their addictions.

We put these people in prison, but do we help them with the problem that 
put them there? The answer is no, and they get out of prison with the same 
problems that put them there. We want these people to learn a lesson, but 
what lesson are we teaching them?

We need to take a long, hard look at this problem. The court system needs 
to change. I know at least 10 people who are in prison because they 
couldn't get help of any kind for their drug addiction.

If such people are seeking help and are trying to change and do better, 
then for God's sake let them find the help they need. Don't just put them 
in prison.

We can't just stand by and wait for them to break the law and think jail 
will help them get clean. Yes, it will keep them clean, but it does not 
clear the mind of addiction.

Addicts should be placed in intensive drug-rehabilitation programs. Maybe, 
just maybe, this would cut down on some of the crimes. Who knows? But we 
will never know unless we offer them the help they need. Put a stop to this 

Connie Dodson

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