Courage and commitment needed for change in criminal justice system

Published 9:16 am Thursday, March 8, 2018

Dear Editor,

The Prophet Rumi states, “Try not to resist the changes that come your way. Instead let life live through you. And do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?”

Take heart Fourth and Main. I understand that it’s hard to admit that much of what you’ve been doing for years upon years is actually making things worse rather than better for people in your community. I get that. But if evidence is what sways your court decision, let the absolute empirical evidence help you in this “change.” Jail recidivism is skyrocketing. Substance abuse is at epic levels and overdoses and deaths are increasing. Placing poor people in jail for simply being poor does nothing but introduce them to “real” criminals while destroying families/relationships and lives.

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We cannot look to the federal government for help as they have already announced budget cuts for the services needed. Kentucky is hapless in any attempt it makes choosing instead to build new “for-profit” prisons? So it falls to us right here in Boyle County to “change.” It will take two other “C” words to save our community. Courage … and commitment. Are the prosecutors, circuit/district and family courts up to the three C’s? As of now, they mostly refuse to even be a part of this discussion. Absence from community meetings is obvious to all.

Your county judge-executive, magistrates and jail personnel are working diligently on this issue as it costs us as taxpayers huge sums of money on top of the obvious human cost. They know the problem, you know the problem, I know the problem. And now you know the answer … courage and commitment leading to change.

Fourth and Main … where are you?

Roger Hartner