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Let’s Stop The Craziness

April 16, 2012

“America has the highest documented incarceration rate in the world. 86,927 juveniles were behind bars by 2007. Violent crime is not responsible for the quadrupling of our incarcerated population in the United States. The prison population is increasing primarily due to public policy changes causing more prison sentences and lengthening time served, “three strike laws” and reductions in the avaliability of parole or early release. The”war on drugs” has increased incarcerations twelvefold since 1980. It is the length of sentences that truly distinguishes American prison policy.” These statistics are from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics.

America, in my opinion has never cared much for her children. That is why we don’t insist on the best teachers and pay them well. We don’t put education first and try to give our children the best education in the world. Only in universities do we succeed as a nation. We don’t copy and use proven models that have worked for years, like the Montessori Schools. We are near the bottom of the list when it comes to elementary, secondary and high school performance.

We can spend billions, maybe trillions by now on a “war on drugs” that we will never win. When we could be spending some of that money to find out why we are so unhappy that we have to take drugs. Better drug intervention and treatment programs and providing more jobs for teens would help. We should be trying to fix this side of the drug problem. With determination, we stopped Polio. We are solving the Aids epidemic. We have the capacity to do so much good in the world. We can fix our incarceration problem!

Our prisons are full to the brim with juveniles and adults because of drugs. We are not winning the war. Don’t think they can’t get drugs in prison. They just pay a lot more for them and many times with their lives. Why do we keep on doing the same things for years upon years and expecting different results? Mothers, we have a lot of power. We can network with each other, write letters, send emails and we can vote. Let’s work together. Let’s start using our power to stop the craziness.

My son  did not have a drug problem. He was a boy who killed a man who sexually assaulted him.  He was only sixteen when he was incarserated. He never complained, but struggled to endure. His tragic story presents a practical solution on how to survive under terrible circumstances. Looking back, knowing now what he had to live with and how much he suffered I wish I had fought harder for him while he was imprisoned.  My son is gone now, but he showed me the way to help your sons and daughters. That is my mission!

By Bonnie Hall-Gerson


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