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    Saturday, July 4, 2009

    Excess Incarceration Rate Leads to More Troubled Children and More Welfare

    The huge incarceration rate in Illinois, where we send non-violent drug abusers and thieves to prison at a rate 40 times greater than any civilized country means that we are breaking our economy. The children of the prisoners are a great social burden when parents don't earn an income or care for them. Tax dollars are also lost when prisoners do not work.

    It is a much better solution to sentence non-violent offenders to curfews when not at work and community service to pay back what they took from society. Restorative justice is more appropriate. In prison less than 15% of addicts get treatment and there are five times more mentally ill in prison, without appropriate treatment than in all the mental health facilities in the country combined.

    It is a much better solution to pay for daily drug addiction treatment, home monitoring, and mental health treatment than to pay $30,000 per year to incarcerate a prisoner, not treat them, and then send them back to a life of crime or untreated mental illness.

    We are FOOLS in Illinois and the rest of the country! What a waste of dollars and human potential! Talk to your legislators. Elect only those that pledge to change this disaster. Our phony war of being "tough on crime" is a joke and has not worked. These prisoners, are usually released. If we don't rehabilitate them, we deserve what we get.

    For discussion and solutions to the problems see: