Thursday, June 04, 2009


From Nevada: The article prompting the exchange can be found by clicking here.

LTE: Re "Methadone tablet earns prison term" (June 2) - for someone dependent on heroin one methadone tablet can prevent withdrawal symptoms and craving - and multiple injections of heroin - for 24 hours. Strictly from the perspective of the community's self-interest, punishing this with a 2-1/2 year prison term seems just plain dumb. He should instead have been referred to a methadone maintenance clinic where his dependence could be treated.

EDITOR’S RESPONSE: I don't know about New York City, but there is a point here in Nevada at which someone who continually breaks the law deserves a time-out to think about it. Mr. Jenkins is lucky he only got 2 and a half years. While being in possession of a single methadone tablet might not seem like much, in fact it was something else he stole from someone else, who might have needed it. No matter what the charge, Mr. Jenkins went to prison because he is a thief. No one would have even known he had the tablet if he hadn't been shoplifting, again. I believe people can be rehabilitated, but I also believe that the worst thing that can happen to a person is a lack of consequences as a result of their actions. Thanks for writing, Kurt Hildebrand editor


At 10:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You need to read the article again. He was arrested for theft, but pled guilty to the possession charge and for that he went to prison. Clearly, this person has an addiction problem. Unfortunately, pompous ignorant judgmental fellows that spout similar proclamations only serve to hinder helping addicts help themselves. What do you think drives the other, felonious behavior likely results in perpetuating an addiction - or - the presence of an addiction gives rise to felonious behavior? I'd say, people are engaging in criminal behavior to feed the addiction. The next question is, do you honestly think incarceration is a form of drug treatment? Incarceration does nothing to address the underlying need to engage in an addiction. Sending someone to jail to send a message and have them take responsibility is ineffective in addressing the underlying problem and it is exceedingly expense compared to effective drug treatment.


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