The Norman Transcript

Opinion

February 4, 2013

Job opportunities should enhance quality of life

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

Over the past weekend, articles in The Transcript confirmed what many have long thought to be the case: The Oklahoma economy depends on prisoners for jobs and the counties, this time Cleveland in particular, depend on those who commit petty crimes or suffer from addiction to fund vital court services.

In Joy Hampton’s article on Saturday, Jan. 26, she states that the ever-increasing “supply” of prisoners has created the demand for new employees at the jail. On Sunday, Jan. 27, Mick Hinton’s story reports that the local DA’s office depends on check forgers, drug addicts and DUIs to fund the prosecution of those accused of serious crimes such as rape and murder.

I find both Ms. Hampton’s statement and the facts in Mr. Hinton’s story to be astounding admissions of desperate attempts to provide economic opportunity and essential law enforcement on the cheap.

Rather than offer prisons and jails as great job options, we need employment opportunities that will enhance the quality of life for all Oklahomans. And while we all want heinous crimes prosecuted and dangerous criminals incarcerated, it is morally reprehensible to do so on the backs of those who, with treatment and support, may go on to live productive lives.

Ellen Wisdom

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Be careful out in the heat

    This week’s triple-digit temperatures are contributing to heat-related illnesses. The state health department’s Injury Prevention Service reminds Oklahomans of the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke....

    July 25, 2014

  • Get smart on crime

    It’s no secret that prison guards have become the frontline mental health case workers in Oklahoma prisons. Accessing mental health services outside of prison is tough but even harder behind the walls....

    July 25, 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

  • Quite the resilient bunch

    The people of Moore are a resilient bunch. They’ve bounced back from tornadoes before, but the current renaissance may be the quickest yet. FEMA officials said it would take two years to see some sense of normalcy. That’s hardly the case....

    July 24, 2014

  • A fresh start for VA

    All of us have high hopes for the confirmation and success of Veterans Affairs Secretary nominee Robert McDonald. If confirmed — and most believe he’s a shoe-in — McDonald will take over a paralyzed system of health care that is not ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Call up National Guard

    We’re not sure it will help, but you have to hand it to Texas Gov. Rick Perry. He deployed up to 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to help secure his state’s border with Mexico this week....

    July 23, 2014

  • It’s only getting worse

    Conditions for children in Oklahoma were starting to look up for a few years, according to the annual Kids Count reports. Now we know it wasn’t getting better. The recession was impacting the rest of the country, dropping their scores....

    July 23, 2014

  • Noting a life well lived

    James Garner never intended to be a movie and television star. He just kind of lucked into it, he would tell those who asked. If you have the itch to act, get a good-paying job and spend your free time at your local community theater, he ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Recount that really matters

    Americans have been hearing a lot about Congressional elections, but there’s another one halfway around the globe that will matter far more....

    July 22, 2014

  • Runoffs get no respect

    The Aug. 26 Republican runoff election for the Cleveland County District 3 commissioner post is one of only 18 races on ballots around the state. Only two races are statewide — the Democrat contests for U.S. Senator nominee and state ...

    July 22, 2014