As always, love your insight.
Building more government prisons isn't the answer!
Perhaps we have too many laws? Too much prohibition?
Keep up the fight!
Former WV Delegate Pat McGeehan
Chairman, Republican Party
Hancock County WV
My seventeen years working as a case manager in the Maryland Correctional system convinced me, among other things, that incarcerating folks for non-violent offenses is a tremendous disservice to the taxpayers and has very little to do with justice.
Instead of fleecing taxpayers, we need to take a serious look at all of our criminal offense laws, as one alternative to building more prisons.
Thanks for forwarding this dialogue.
The problems we face as a state need to be discussed and resolutions need to be proposed.
I appreciate your thoughts, especially, on the drug problem.
It makes no sense to incarcerate folks for non-violent crime such as drug use. Let's get beyond that.
We cannot continue to afford to lock up everyone for violations such as these.
And, of course, there are other minor, non-violent, victimless crimes which should not result in jail time.
Keep up the good work.
Berkeley County Legal Counsel
Perhaps community service should be examined?
Royden P. Gilleo, Maryland Prison Professional
Sadly, the program is that proposal(training inmates fpr employment prior to release) might help give prisoners better job skills upon release (and that will be a big help), but it is not "the" answer to the public pain and expense of overcrowding and recidivism
That answer, I believe, lies in a painful reassessment of the charges that send folks to prison.
Prison is not the answer to the drug offenses that cause the majority of incarcerations, and it is time to move past that "lock 'em up" mentality.
In point of fact, prison incarceration often worsens inmate drug problems.
It has certainly been too long since we have last talked.
Good luck on the upcoming election.
Regarding regional jail bills, Morgan County can certainly sympathize and appreciate what you are trying to do regarding the alternative sentencing methods of which you speak.
However, the issue is much more serious than folks have led on.
For instance, under the current laws, Morgan County is faced with an estimated regional jail bill of between $600,000 to $800,000 for the fiscal year ending 6/30/2012.
That is over 25% of our total budget and please keep in mind that we only have 17,500 people who live in Morgan County.
This is absurd and in no way is sustainable.
We are currently working on alternative sentencing and it does not seem to help.
The methods we currently use are community service, day report center (Martinsburg), and home confinement.
All of the necessary decision makers have been involved in monthly meetings and are well aware of the problem.
The regional jail system is broke and I am asking for legislation to repair this issue.
If the mandated rates out of Charleston do not change, we will need additional funding from Charleston as this is simply another unfunded mandate.
Otherwise, any assistance or advice would be much appreciated.
I look forward to hearing from you and keep up the good work.
Morgan County Commissioner