Pubdate: Sun, 02 Sep 2007
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA)
Copyright: 2007 Philadelphia Newspapers Inc
Author: David A. Love


Re: "All-time high for Phila. inmates," Monday:

Unchecked prison expansion, resulting in the flooding of the court
system and a strain on government resources, is due to a failed war on
drugs that imposes draconian sentences, breaks up families and
criminalizes poor communities. Gov. Rendell is right to propose
alternative sentencing for nonviolent drug offenders, including drug
treatment, early release and recidivism-prevention programs.

Warehousing more people does not reduce crime, and fails to address
the root of the city's ills.

Philadelphians are frustrated by a seemingly intractable crime
problem. But it is no accident that the city also has one of the
lowest levels of educational attainment and one of the highest levels
of poverty and joblessness among major cities. A focus on treatment,
education and employment rather than mass incarceration will help
solve prison overcrowding and help make the city whole.

David A. Love,

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