Drug problem cannot just be locked up

Published 9:26 am Thursday, August 1, 2013

Lawrence County Prosecutor Brigham Anderson recently made a comment that contained more truth and insight into the challenges facing Lawrence County than just about anything that has been said in a long time.

“The drug problem in our community is terrible. It affects the lives of so many. I truly believe we can’t arrest our way out of the drug problem. We have to look at other solutions.”

It is an Interesting take from someone on the law enforcement side of our criminal justice and seems to go against many of the popular ideologies that anyone who breaks a law is inherently bad.

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And Anderson couldn’t be more correct.

Anderson hopes to create a prosecutorial diversion program that would focus more on treatment and prevention of future offenses for first-time, low-level criminals

It would relieve a significant burden on the county jail. It is up to the Ohio Department of Corrections to approve the grant request of approximately $400,000.

Although it is often difficult to understand what goes through the minds of state officials and those leading agencies in Columbus, this should be an easy decision.

Simply look at the court systems in Lawrence County and anyone with basic common sense can see that drug abuse is a huge problem. Housing these individuals in the jail creates countless challenges but the state can get on board to help us fix this.

Anderson should be commended for his effort and willingness to go against the popular viewpoint to simply lock everyone up and throw away the key.