Pubdate: Wed, 01 Dec 2010
Source: Garden Island (Lihue, HI)
Copyright: 2010 Kauai Publishing Co.
Author: John Owens


I will begin by saying I read the article on Mr. (Le Beau) Lagmay's
request to alter his one-year incarceration and the denial of his
request by Judge Valenciano ("Judge denies Lagmay request to
reconsider 1-year prison term," Nov. 26) with great interest, not
because I know Mr. Lagmay, nor because I support his actions, but
instead because I feel strongly that when someone in his situation is
asking to be allowed to participate in a treatment program such as
that offered by The Salvation Army, even if it may seem only an
alternative to incarceration, it might serve as the best justice for
both the individual and the community. To continue treating drug
addiction with imprisonment simply supports a highly flawed and
ineffective strategy that often does more harm than good. Our recent
community meetings suggests this is well-known by the police, by
treatment professionals, and by former addicts, but apparently the
lack of understanding, or options in the legal and correctional
systems, continues to beat the horse, even post-mortem.

Maybe, if the reality of addiction were to strike their families,
though I hope it never does, their eyes, and hearts, would be opened.
Maybe we could build and support treatment facilities instead of more
prisons! Finally, I hope that YOU, whoever you are, might consider
that, as a society we need to change our strategy to one that might
help, rather than one we know does not, and may God help us all!

John Owens,

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