Archive for Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Letter to the editor: Too little, too late

April 11, 2018

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To the editor:

As soon as the County Commission announces a gigantic tax increase to lock up more people, the public relations machine begins cranking up with announcements about small programs designed to treat those with mental illness and addiction instead of locking them up over and over again. Too little, too late.

I am very passionate about the need for a mental health crisis center, but the County Commission coupled that with a gigantic jail expansion on the same ballot. The Douglas County Commission was asked by Justice Matters three years ago to hire national experts in criminal justice reform to determine a smart, cost-effective way out of this huge jail expansion, and they refused and hired a local expert to do a piecemeal analysis.

But even before his first study, they paid Treanor Architects $518,000 to complete the final stages of design for the jail. Now, we’re supposed to believe the county is doing its best to address the underlying reasons people end up in jail? I don’t think so. Our community isn’t a “lock-them-up, ask questions later” type of community. Vote no and get the county to do the hard work of creating a truly just criminal justice system.

Comments

Sharilyn Wells 1 week, 1 day ago

this trouble with the mental illness and substance abuse dual diagnosis has been going on for many many years in Lawrence Kansas not only locking them up but passing away in the highways and byways of Lawrence

Beth Ann Bittlingmayer 1 week, 1 day ago

Thank you for yet another letter expressing the views of many.

Francis Hunt 1 week, 1 day ago

Judy, it appears either you have had your head in the sand or more than likely you have been listening to the lies being spread by justice matters. The county hired a national expert named Allen Beck. He is so nationally known that even the justice matters hypocrites have used his data in the past. You really should do some homework and not just listen to a church group that has serious problems with the truth. Here is the Journal World story from last 2017 about those so called little programs. http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2017/aug...

Deb Engstrom 1 week, 1 day ago

But they made their decision before their "expert" had finished his work.

Beth Ann Bittlingmayer 1 week ago

The link provided doesn’t invalidate Deb’s point.

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