Suggests treatment, not jail, for drug users

COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJuly 23, 2013 

Every time I see the new jail in Bellingham, and the alternative jail, and the government wanting to build new jails, I get very angry.

Are they helping? Look at the numbers in the jails, and how overcrowded they are. And they keep building them. Why not build a facility for a drug and alcohol treatment program, and run it with classes to help them turn their lives around? I don't mean just treatment, and they are let out. I mean a facility that can rehabilitate prisoners to the real world. Many, many prisoners are in jail or prison for drug offenses. They don't need help learning the jail system (in fact they are learning how to do new offenses when they get out they can use.) They still will be in a lockdown facility, but instead of mingling, they would spend their time working on themselves, with classes and maybe even some job training. Then you can have the old jails for the hardened criminals.

The drug arrests (without violent offenses) would go to the treatment facility under strict conditions. One chance and they go to the hardened criminals' jail. The prison system is not working, so maybe try something else.

Patty Hutchins

Bellingham

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