Pubdate: Wed, 01 Apr 2015
Source: Chico Enterprise-Record (CA)
Copyright: 2015 Chico Enterprise-Record
Note: Letters from newspaper's circulation area receive publishing priority
Author: Garry Cooper


The recent letters by Stephanie Taber and Helen Harberts encouraging 
spending more money on jails and police need to be seen as the 
propaganda they are. Google them and you will see they are both 
longtime police industry members and highly vocal shills for the 
police/prison unions.

We need to objectively explore ways to lower our incarceration rates, 
given that the U.S. locks up more people per capita than any other 
nation in the world. The police/prison industry screams for more of 
everything all the time. More jails, more prison guards, more 
officers, higher salaries, better benefits and it never stops. Their 
shills act like regular citizens as they plead for these increases 
without disclosing their conflicts of interests.

What we need is to re-evaluate the drug war from top to bottom, given 
it accounts for nearly half of all the police/prison industrial 
complex's costs.

For instance, we should convert a share of prisons to be used solely 
for drug rehab facilities for meth and heroin, staff most of it with 
drug rehab professionals instead of overpaid prison guards with high 
school educations so we can accomplish something meaningful. We need 
to address the legalization and distribution of marijuana nationwide, 
including licensing honey oil producers, so our society is safer and 
so valuable resources aren't spent on useless prohibition and can be 
allocated to real crime.

We need change and throwing money at Harberts and Taber's cronies 
isn't it. We have been doing that for decades and it doesn't work.

- - Garry Cooper, Durham
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