Pubdate: Sat, 08 Mar 2014
Source: Elko Daily Free Press (NV)
Copyright: 2014 Elko Daily Free Press
Author: Joe Mang



I'm writing in regard to your recent article about drug court.

Over the past decade Nevada has taken a seriously active role in 
helping addicts overcome their struggles with tools like drug courts 
and mental health courts. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s the courts 
have sent addicts to prison, no questions asked, and prisons don't 
offer much rehabilitation unless you meet certain requirements.

Now ex-felons with a drug problem are being called habitual offenders 
and deemed unsavable by a legal system that claims they are trying to 
help people, but our legal system will only try to help an addict if 
they are young and have no past. Drug court was designed to help all 
addicts, not just a certain type or age.

For example, there is a Reno man who was a repeated drug offender. He 
was given a chance in drug court and he graduated and now has a 
beautiful family, owns a home and has his contractor's license and 
runs a respectable business.

So the question I would like the community and court system to ask 
themselves is why are there so many people who have never been 
offered drug court slipping through the cracks?

For many years Nevada has been a no-tolerance state until recently, 
but there is a large number of people in jail who are asking for help 
but they're just ran through the court system as quickly as possible 
and then sent to prison and one day they'll be released and may be 
still struggling with addiction.

How much does someone have to ask for help before it's given?

Joe Mang

- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom