Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Drug Sense Spoken in Wichita Falls

The discussion about drugs coming out of Wichita Falls last week sounds a little different from Sen. Craig Estes' approach. Speaking to the League of Women Voters, Suzanne Wills of the Drug Policy Forum of Texas told the audience:
The problems come with how the government should deal with drug addicts - do we lock them up or treat them?

Wills said the prevailing attitude is, build more jails and put more people in. That doesn't necessarily work with a meth addict, who comes out of jail sick, angry and ready to find their next hit, she said. It also doesn't work for the nonviolent users, who were never a threat to society.

"Drug treatment is much more effective than prison time," she said.
Meanwhile, an informed source cautioned that special interests who profit from incarceration would try to thwart more sensible policies:
John Hirschi, a retired Texas state representative, said after Wills' presentation that it was hard to get things done in the legislature because of certain lobbyists.

"There were tremendous vested interests in the prisons, and it was extremely hard to pass legislation because of those who profit from the growth of the prison system," Hirschi said.
Via Drug Sense Weekly. The same issue notes that Texas may have to build five new prisons by 2010 if it doesn't change its probation policies.

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