Pubdate: Tue, 01 Apr 2014
Source: Advocate, The (Baton Rouge, LA)
Copyright: 2014 The Advocate, Capital City Press
Author: Rick Wilke


Regarding your recent story, "Strange bedfellows push incarceration limits":

So state Sen. Bob Kostelka, R-Monroe, is "not concerned by 
Louisiana's high incarceration rate." He remains dead set against 
House Bill 14, which would reduce sentences for second and third 
convictions of marijuana possession, which even "hard on crime" Gov. 
Bobby Jindal supports and would save the state about $4 million a 
year. He says, "If you do the crime, you do the time," and "We're not 
putting innocent people in jail. We're not incarcerating people 
unless they've been convicted and are guilty."

Interestingly, he also states, "Crime comes from poverty and kids 
without parents" and those problems need to be solved first. So, let 
me see if I understand this correctly.

If you grow up poor and without (I assume he probably means a male) 
parent, you are more likely to commit a crime and get put in jail, 
preventing you from being home to parent your children and giving you 
a criminal record that makes it harder to get a decent job.

This will make it more likely your children will commit a crime. 
Seems the senator wants to make sure the people caught in this 
vicious circle are severely punished for not making the smarter 
choice to be born to more affluent parents who live together.

I wonder what steps he proposes to prevent kids from growing up poor 
and without parents at home, since his approach seems to perpetuate the cycle.

The nation, except for hold-outs such as Sen. Kostelka, appears to be 
finally coming to its senses and realizing that making possession of 
a small amount of marijuana a major crime is just as stupid as the 
anti-alcohol laws of the past.

I'll wager that, had he lived back then, he would have been one of 
the multitudes of people who, during Prohibition, broke the law and 
bought, possessed and consumed alcohol. I guess his forefathers did 
not get caught and thrown in jail back then. Had his family been 
caught in the vicious circle, he might be in jail today instead of in 
the Senate.

Rick Wilke

retired consultant

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