Justice system is vicious cycle

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 27, 2010

Read any newspaper. Watch the evening news. Talk to your friends and neighbors.

It becomes clear that crime — and specifically drugs — is an ever-growing problem here in Lawrence County, across the Tri-State and across the entire nation.

It has become an almost endless, vicious cycle.

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Criminals break the law, get caught, stay in the legal system for months and then go to jail or prison.

Then, sadly, the process often starts over, throwing more and more taxdollars down the drain.

It is time to take a long, hard look at the system to see if it is working. It seems obvious that the answer is no.

If change won’t happen nationally, then we must look to do this on a local level.

We challenge southern Ohio’s leaders to get together and start a dialogue about ways to make a difference.

This should include law enforcement, judges, attorneys, politicians, psychologists, correctional facility administrators, former addicts, and others who can help offer insight into a growing epidemic.

We, as a society, have to analyze what we are doing to deter crime and punish the criminals. Then we have to ask ourselves if we think this is effective.

There is not a “magic bullet” answer that will cure all these issues overnight.

It will likely take a combination of tougher sentences, more rehabilitation programs, expansion of work release and community service projects that force criminals to contribute to society in some way and much more.

All that barely scratches the surface.

It is often said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Now is time to start changing what we do to stop crime and fight drug abuse.