Letter to the editor: Switching gears

To the editor:

Today, we are putting more people behind bars in our local jail than we have ever done before.

It is historic. And our legal system is stuck in one gear: jail gear. A bicycle uses different gears depending on the terrain. I could never get the hang of gears on a bike. I just always wanted to ride a good old regular bike that I was familiar with. I did not want to even try one with different gears. Our criminal justice system is stuck in that good old one gear. It really needs multiple gears for the wide variety of people who come into contact with it. There are those who are addicted or suffering from mental illness, or those who are dangerous compared to those who are just down on their luck. Instead of expanding our local jail, we all need to invest in creating a local criminal justice system that is committed to using different gears for different purposes in the right situations. If we can do this, we can improve outcomes and get to where we all want to go: a safer community.

Judy Pope,

Lawrence

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