EDITORIAL

IF YOU’RE GOING TO CHANGE THE JUSTICE SYSTEM, GET IT RIGHT

On February 15 a City of Newburgh man was arrested for felony drug Possession, endangering the welfare of a child, possession of controlled substances (including 22 pounds of marijuana, THC cannabis concentrate and Crack Cocaine), and currency. Several of the charges are felonies, along with criminal use of paraphernalia and probation violation.

We are all for diverting individuals with addiction problems into drug rehabilitation instead of jail whenever possible. This individual was remanded to the custody of the Sheriff and released on his own recognizance. The practice of putting repeat offenders right back on the streets has got to stop. Maybe halfway houses could monitor criminals who would otherwise just be released until a court date or until they are in a treatment facility. What happened to “Agree to go right into treatment, or go to jail?”. But this police report says nothing about him agreeing to go right into a drug treatment program. 

WHAT, we ask, is the likelihood that on his “own recognizance” this 26-year old is already back on the street, and already going back to his drug providers and turning around to resell cocaine and THC to City teenagers.  What about the impact of lack of supervision on his future, and the pain he is already causing his family.

Government has a tendency to go “all or nothing”, and that is just about what it has done over the past year of bail reform. In a system of more humane treatment of criminals for rehabilitation and a start of a new life,  release on one’s own recognizance is a terrible start……especially with the backlogs of court hearings in the past decade, let alone now, during this pandemic.

Bottom line:        

     “IF YOU’RE GOING TO MAKE CHANGES IN TREATMENT OF CRIMINALS,

YOU’D BETTER GET IT RIGHT!”

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