Pubdate: Sun, 21 Dec 2008
Source: News & Observer (Raleigh, NC)
Copyright: 2008 The News and Observer Publishing Company
Author: Larry Bumgardner


The N&O's series on the failed probation system covered just a small
part of the problem. Implied is that more of these guys in the
probation system should be in jail. Lost in the articles was the
political outcry that would have resulted had politicians raised the
probation budget or tried to fund more assistance in helping
ex-offenders get jobs and housing. From too many politicians we hear
the mantra to cut, cut, cut. We have no resources to spend because we
are wastefully and ignorantly spending them. The United States has
only 5 percent of the people of the world, but 25 percent of its
prisoners. Does that sound like a cheap system? Is this method of
dealing with crime the very best and most effective system we could

It's clear that our entire justice system needs to be revamped. Drug
sentences, for example, are simply outrageously long and ridiculously
expensive and are a counterproductive way to deal with the problem.
Whatever we are doing to combat drugs is simply not working, and we
have to face reality. Cigarette use is declining. Is there a hint
somewhere in that fact?

Larry Bumgardner
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MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin