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May 12, 2005 - The Spokesman-Review (WA)

Roundtable: Jail Solutions A Thing Of The Past

By Nora Callahan

Return to Drug War News: Don't Miss Archive

Commissioner Phil Harris says his "10-year dream" of a tent jail, "may come true." ("Sheriff says $1.7 million can cut crime," April 20).

Then comes Sheriff Sterk, ready to turn in his badge if all the millions of dollars the two leaders are asking for doesn't lower crime.

Perhaps Commissioner Harris needs to wake up, Sterk resign now and save Spokane taxpayers uncounted millions in the future.

Both of these elected leaders insist on tactics that do not work, asking taxpayers to pay for more failure.

Treatment for drug dependent people, rehabilitation and education that includes marketable job skills makes a community safer and stronger -- not big prisons and concentration camps.

The 20-year-old "tough on crime" statistics are in. All it accomplished is terrible transformation of the "Land of the Free" into World's Leading Jailer.

With 5 percent of the world's population, the U.S. has 25 percent of the world's imprisoned people.

When will leaders dream about shedding this legacy?

Commissioner Harris ought to dream for all what he's been able to provide for his own children: hope for the future with a decent entry-level job today. The good people of Spokane need living wage jobs, not jail cells.

Nora Callahan, Colville, WA

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