2012′s most popular posts #2 – Everyone deserves a second chance


Reihan Salam directs us to this speech given by prominent Republican Chris Christie.

What’s so compelling is that this is a tough on crime speech by a rising and influential Republican governor who resume includes having been a prosecutor and he calls for diversion, compassion and treatment for addicts:

At the same time, let us reclaim the lives of those drug offenders who have not committed a violent crime. By investing time and money in drug treatment – in an in-house, secure facility – rather than putting them in prison.

Experience has shown that treating non-violent drug offenders is two-thirds less expensive than housing them in prison. And more importantly – as long as they have not violently victimized society – everyone deserves a second chance, because no life is disposable.

I am not satisfied to have this as merely a pilot project; I am calling for a transformation of the way we deal with drug abuse and incarceration in every corner of New Jersey.

So today I ask this Legislature and the Chief Justice to join me in this commitment that no life is disposable.

I propose mandatory treatment for every non-violent offender with a drug abuse problem in New Jersey, not just a select few. It will send a clear message to those who have fallen victim to the disease of drug abuse – we want to help you, not throw you away. We will require you to get treatment. Your life has value. Every one of God’s creations can be redeemed. Everyone deserves a second chance.

Salam summarizes:

he … made the case that nonviolent drug offenders should be given treatment rather than imprisoned because (1) it is cost-effective, (2) it is decent and humane, and (3) it recognizes that we can’t afford to waste human potential.

 

Go Chris Christie!

Governor of New Jersey at a town hall in Hills...
Image via Wikipedia

A few weeks ago I shared some great comments from Chris Christie about the moral imperative to provide treatment to offenders with drug and alcohol problems.

This week he called for New Jersey flags to be flown at half mast in honor of Whitney Houston.

Not surprisingly, the decision has received some criticism. But Chris Christie is pushing back:

Christie said he’s disturbed people are disparaging Houston’s accomplishments because of her troubles with substance abuse.

“This is a disease that some people struggle with and conquer on a day-to-day basis, and some people succumb to it. And I don’t believe that that should diminish the other contributions they’ve made in their life,” Christie said.

“I’m not saying that Whitney Houston is a role model. She’s not a role model in that respect, in every aspect of her life. But what she is is a cultural icon in the history of this state,” he said. “I’m disturbed by people who believe … because of her history of substance abuse, that somehow she’s forfeited the good things that she did in her life. I just reject that on a human level.”

Awesome.

I’ve never been a Whitney fan and I doubt I’d call for flags to be flown at half mast. So, I have no problem with criticism of that decision, but I’m bothered that so much of the criticism suggests that she’s unworthy because she was a drug addict.

Good for him for leaning into it.

Everyone deserves a second chance


Reihan Salam directs us to this speech given by prominent Republican Chris Christie.

What’s so compelling is that this is a tough on crime speech by a rising and influential Republican governor who resume includes having been a prosecutor and he calls for diversion, compassion and treatment for addicts:

At the same time, let us reclaim the lives of those drug offenders who have not committed a violent crime. By investing time and money in drug treatment – in an in-house, secure facility – rather than putting them in prison.

Experience has shown that treating non-violent drug offenders is two-thirds less expensive than housing them in prison. And more importantly – as long as they have not violently victimized society – everyone deserves a second chance, because no life is disposable.

I am not satisfied to have this as merely a pilot project; I am calling for a transformation of the way we deal with drug abuse and incarceration in every corner of New Jersey.

So today I ask this Legislature and the Chief Justice to join me in this commitment that no life is disposable.

I propose mandatory treatment for every non-violent offender with a drug abuse problem in New Jersey, not just a select few. It will send a clear message to those who have fallen victim to the disease of drug abuse – we want to help you, not throw you away. We will require you to get treatment. Your life has value. Every one of God’s creations can be redeemed. Everyone deserves a second chance.

Salam summarizes:

he … made the case that nonviolent drug offenders should be given treatment rather than imprisoned because (1) it is cost-effective, (2) it is decent and humane, and (3) it recognizes that we can’t afford to waste human potential.