Thursday, October 05, 2006

Incarceration Alternatives: From Smith County, a Plan Emerges

I've mentioned District Judge Cynthia Kent's campaign in my hometown of Tyler to reject new jail building and focus on incarcerating fewer low-level, non-violent offenders. Yesterday I wrote that a plan for incarceration alternatives was approved and funded, and today I received a copy of the plan itself, which you can view here (pdf):
I haven't had a chance to go through it yet, but wanted to get the link up. The plan was authored by Judge Kent and Smith County probation director Gerald Hayden. Thanks, Judge, for making this resource publicly available so other counties can see what y'all are doing.

The Day Reporting Center and other programs may go on line as soon as December. Smith County won't yet launch a drug court or special sanctions court, as Judge Kent at one time hoped, but they're trying several alternatives aimed at specific jail populations (e.g., people who don't pay child support) that might interest other counties with overcrowded jails. Necessity, as always, gives birth to invention.

More on this, perhaps, over the weekend when I have time to read Smith County's plan in detail. Until then,

See prior related Grits' coverage:


800 pound gorilla said...

If crime is way down AND most crime is driven by addicts financing their addictions to illegal drugs - just think how much less crime there could be if we just ended the drug war scam, admit that there are no standards, roundly condemn the racist slugs who passed the Controlled Substances Act over 30 years ago, and declare victory.

Maybe we could teach a comprehensive drug education curriculum - instead of the discredited dangerous drugs mythology. If anyone wants to look at a baseline curriculum, my book is available. I can increase sales of my book - as a collector's edition - after better curriculums are devised. But then again, we've been lying to kids about history for even longer so I'm thinking pie in the sky.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Your book?! What's that, 800? Give us a link.