Use incentives to empty prisons of addicts, non-violent criminals

First Posted: 2/28/2012

To the Editor,

According to schools Superintendent Johnny Hunt, Robeson County sported one of the largest decreases in the drop-out rate among the states school systems for year 2010-2011.

This feat was monumental considering the social landscape. He explains the success by citing a concerted effort among leaders to implement incentives programs to discourage the likelihood of dropping out.

Why can’t we use this methodology to mitigate the scourage of addiction and the specter of incarceration for non-violent offenders? Why can’t we connect the dots here? Does the inherent criminality of addiction preclude those afflicted from intervention? And by intervention I am speaking of an attempt to implement comprehensive measures to restore and empower.

Instead of this lobby for funds to alleviate an artificially inflated jail population, we should focus on root causation and provide a long-term solution that is not only fiscally sensible but also morally responsible.

Jonathan Allen