The Norman Transcript

Letters

August 25, 2013

State prisons could do without burden of so many drug offenders

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

I don’t think I will never “get it.” Doing what we have always done expecting different results defines insanity. For instance, the Norman Transcript recently reported that the new Cleveland County Detention Center is full, housing five hundred prisoners.

The primary reason given was a backlog of prisoners awaiting transfer to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. According to DOC, the reception center at Lexington is full as are DOC facilities around the state and they cannot accept any additional inmates.

There are many explanations available, but one seems an appropriate illustration. For decades, the United States has waged a “war on drugs.” Congress authorized an all-out attack on drug trafficking. Tough on crime Oklahoma legislators enacted dozens of laws to punish the user/addicts and the dealers who supply them.

We have worked hard to ensure harsh sentences on users and suppliers and providing for escalating sentence lengths for repeat offenses, up to and including life in prison.

For their part, Oklahoma law enforcement agencies are very efficient in rounding up offenders for our district attorneys to prosecute and send to prison.

We consistently rank in the top five states in per-capita incarceration of offenders. We are consistently in the top three of the incarceration of women per capita. It is no wonder that Oklahoma prisons are full.

And yet, drug abuse and distribution continue to expand and flourish. Oklahoma is recognized as the national crossroads of drug trafficking in the United States.

Estimates are the more drugs pass through Oklahoma than any other state in the union. It is rumored that growing and harvesting marijuana is the major cash crop in several counties.

However, the research and findings are clear — we will not incarcerate our way to victory in this war on drugs.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Letters
  • Community Action mostly closed due to cutbacks

    Editor, The Transcript: The Community Action, at 1155 E Main St. in Norman, for decades has served Cleveland County with the following everyday services: a food pantry, short-term housing for the homeless, providing rides for those without ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Nutritional article should be accurate

    I read with interest the July 13 article “Are low-carb diets really healthy?” by Cassidie Day. Unfortunately, a number of statements in this article were incorrect. The first problematic statement was, “Carbs are an essential nutrient ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Hospital story headline was too sensationalized

    Editor, The Transcript: On July 18, The Transcript ran a front page article with the headline “Lawsuit filed against Norman Regional — Civil suit alleges improper billing practices by NRH and contracted physicians groups.” As a first page ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Help better than commentary

    For the last seven years, I have helped run Hands Helping Paws, an animal welfare and rescue group that fosters Norman’s abandoned animals and advocates for spay and neuter initiatives to reduce our community’s problems with stray and ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Stick to the sports

    Editor, The Transcript: Why must we, especially us nice conservatives, be subjected to political commentary in a sports column? I hear/view Fox News routinely and find their coverage quite acceptable. I also hear/view CNN and MSNBC. I ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Corporation Commission should should evaluate quakes, fracturing

    Editor, The Transcript: Is your house at risk of being damaged in an earthquake because of fracking? Maybe. We’ve seen more earthquakes and tremors in Oklahoma seven months into 2014 than in the two previous years combined. At the same ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Norman can stop fracking before it escalates

    Editor, The Transcript: There are 163 fracked wells within Norman city limits. With growing attention to health and safety concerns, the city is considering changes to the existing oil and gas ordinance....

    July 27, 2014

  • We should be offended by things that matter

    Editor, The Transcript: I’m offended. Why you say? I live in the USA, in Norman — a great town. What could possibly offend me? I’ll tell you. It’s people that are offended by the most meaningless things (what to call an evergreen tree in ...

    July 27, 2014

  • James Garner will be missed

    Editor, The Transcript: Norman native son James Garner was a fine actor on stage, screen and television. I enjoyed the “Maverick” TV series and, in particular, the 1959 episode “The Strange Journey of Jenny Hill” in which the very popular ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Change some lines

    Editor, The Transcript: Looking at how our elected Republican friends are reacting to the refugee children crossing the border and now being housed in Lawton, I have a suggestion. Let’s edit the Christian Bible in several places to reflect ...

    July 21, 2014