Inmate Wendell Paige speaks of dreams and especially of hope ("Obama renews dreams," Speakout, Nov. 20). At the alternative sentencing program I administered in Southern California, we spoke of providing reason and resources to reduce recidivism. In Colorado, Gov. Bill Ritter's announced plan to reduce recidivism provides hope ("Guv proposes cuts in prison costs," Oct. 31).
There have always been good reasons to do what the governor plans; however, resources have been misdirected to provide for more incarceration. Providing paths to productive and responsible citizenship and particularly paths to long-term recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs is a sound investment that pays big recovery dividends.
Long-term recovery reduces domestic violence, driving under the influence, needless medical expenses and criminal justice costs. For those trapped in addiction and the justice system, it means restoration of the economic and social well-being of families, and leaving behind isolation, anger and fear. It means keeping hope alive and encourages all to "chase those dreams just a little bit more."
Rocky Mountain News