It’s easy for the prosecution but the question is: is it fair? I think not. As I talked with the inmate families, I became convinced that there were better ways to handle many of the problems other than prison. Think about how the prison population would change if instead of sending someone to jail for carrying a few grams of cocaine, we put that person under house arrest, with an ankle bracelet, and required him to attend rehab, much as an alcoholic. Or even force him to attend a school where a trade could be learned. All prison does for most is to embitter them and make them more determined not to get caught.
I know this sounds like liberal talk but seeing all the young in prison makes you think; it did me. We have a problem and what we’re doing now isn’t working. We have to take a radical approach, like empower prosecutors to make reasonable decisions, not to treat all defendants the same. Because they aren’t the same. I met a young man in prison who had no business being there, but the sentencing guidelines left no choice. He had been beaten, and constantly carried the threat of it happening again. His crime: robbing drugs from a drugstore, because he was an addict. Do the crime, do the time! Is that what you’re thinking? Well, with a little help this man could become a productive citizen, and surely the prosecution could see this.
Okay, enough of my rants. Why don’t you give me your thoughts on reform?