Letters: Alternatives to jail, like ‘drug courts’ must be used

Why are we thinking of building a new prison in the Okanagan?

To the editor:

Why are we thinking of building a new prison in the Okanagan?

Prisons keep addicts off the street, but do little more than that. Drug courts, by contrast, focus on teaching addicts how to stay clean and how to do things others take for granted.

A national survey by The Urban Institute, a “think tank,” found that drug courts reduce crime and the costs of incarceration. For this reason drug courts are winning plaudits across the political spectrum.

Prison has a punitive as well as a rehabilitative aspect and some have been cool to drug courts for that reason, seeing them as coddling criminals.

But criminals will eventually return to society. Better they return well-adjusted rather than hardened and still addicted.

In any event, such schemes not only help the participant but save money.

Carl Ignatius Archer,

Kelowna