Thursday, January 15, 2015

The "Conservatives" Who Are Bankrupting Our State

Governor's Justice Reform Panel

  Oklahomans are praising the news of Governor Fallin's newly impaneled committee on justice reform. The blue-ribbon panel includes the top lawmakers, director of our prisons & the director of the Department Of Mental Health & Substance Abuse.
Oklahoma's Incarceration
Rate Is 67% Higher 
than The U.S. Average
  While the progress may go slow, it is hopeful that our laws will be reformed in a way that brings relief to suffering individuals as well as out-of-control prison budgets.

If There Is No Victim, There Is No Criminal

  Some will only see this as a 'dangerous' possibility of decriminalizing some nonviolent & victimless transgression. They will demagogue the issue in order to protect special interests and religious sects.
Oklahomans are not "Bad People". So why are we sending so many to prison?
The U.S. leads the world in incarceration.
  It is an irrational effort to discredit an issue by subjectively discrediting the personal lives of anyone who holds to the 1935 public policy of the United States. It is only the more contemporary condescension of our nanny state that sees a government role of protecting the citizen from himself.
  While there is a legitimate role for government to keep our roads safe and exploiters away from our children; those 2 directives do not justify the far-reaching inconsistencies in our severe penal code for folks who never violated either of the 2 directives.
  And no one can honestly call himself a fiscal conservative when he has bankrupted our state in order to bankroll the highest incarceration rate in the modern world.
  No one can call himself "tough on crime" when his policies have become a breeding ground for organized crime by creating the modern day equivalent of the "speak-easy" black market pot dealerships saturating our communities.  We're throwing money at a failed policy like a rabid herd of liberals trying to spend our way to good public schools!
  Reset the drug policy and quit spending our children's wealth on incarcerating folks whose back yard personal hemp plant doesn't violate anyone.

Prison Is Not A Substitute Hospital

  Another reform that will save taxpayers vast expenses is the medical intervention network for serious mental health crises. While the legislature touts the pennies saved by cutting mental health resources (They closed a 2600-bed facility in Vinita, but never replaced the resource as promised.), Jails and courts are now the # 1 medical treatment facilities for folks with nervous breakdowns.
David Van Risseghem
  Every major city and county has raised taxes drastically, to manage the new inmates who were booked on disorderly misconduct, but should have been offered a mental hospital, as a preferred alternative. The short-term treatment centers usually stabilize and release a suffering soul within days.   A medical leave usually last a couple weeks, before a person returns to work. But a disturbed person who is jailed, has no medical leave, loses his job (or disability). His kids are probably in DHS custody, and he has a far higher hill to climb in restoring his life. In all likelihood he never will.

1 comment :

  1. So did you hear Mary Fallin in the inaugural address, say that we are locking up too many people who have not harmed someone. And too many people that mental health issues? Plus Prison Director Patton has just summarily changed the laws and started giving back good time to all category's of prisoners! Mary Fallin also just changed out the Chair of the parole board and assigned Bob Macy Jr.? Not sure how that is going to turn out?

    Back in the '90's when Mary Fallin was in the state senate, she held an interim study on women in prison. We spent tens of thousands of dollars to bring in experts from all over the U.S. that made really good suggestions on how to have better outcomes for women. Did she listen...NO!!! The committee did not write a recommendation, and no bill ever came from the study. I knew at that moment that she was going to run for Governor some day and she was afraid of being called "soft on crime"! So now a generation later, and so many children's families lives later...NOW she wants to do something about it!