Posts

Showing posts from August, 2018

International Overdose Awareness Day:
Time to Remember, Time to Rebuild

Image
On August 31, the Law Enforcement Action Partnership honors International Overdose Awareness Day, a day to unite as a reform community, honor those we’ve lost, and pledge to do better as a society.

Overdose death is preventable. So why are people still dying?

It’s because our criminal justice system isn’t prioritizing the right things. We shouldn’t be locking people up for using drugs. We shouldn’t be treating addiction as a criminal justice issue, treating people who struggle with addiction as worthless or hopeless. We need to address overdose prevention practically and with compassion.

At LEAP, we’re lucky enough to work with many, many law enforcement experts who believe there’s a better way. LEAP speakers want to rebuild the trust between police and community, protect the vulnerable, and see people get access to the resources they need. We care about public safety, and we know treating people who use drugs as if they're inhuman doesn’t make anyone safer: not that person, not thei…

On fentanyl: Congress must avoid another drug war

Image
By Diane Goldstein
Posted Aug. 17, 2018 at SFChronicle.com

Congress and the American public had agreed that incarcerating tens of thousands of Americans for nonviolent drug offenses is cruel and ineffective, and does nothing to stop drug use. Then fentanyl arrived.

Just like the crack cocaine epidemic that resulted in overly harsh penalties targeted at African Americans in the 1980s, fentanyl and other synthetic drugs are poised to be the next drugs that politicians use to justify long prison sentences for drug users.

This year, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., introduced a bill that would expand mandatory minimum penalties for fentanyl. President Trump has proposed using the death penalty for those who sell fentanyl. And our very own Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is pushing a bill that would expand penalties on synthetic drugs similar to fentanyl and give U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions more power to prosecute people for drug offenses.

This is a clear reversal of Congress’ recent views…

By educating inmates, prisons become safer places for everyone

Image
By Jiles Ship
Posted Jul 23 to NJ.com

Two recently introduced bills in the Legislature would pave the way for many more people to be employable and successful after leaving prison.

Earlier this summer, the state Senate approved legislation (S-2055) introduced by Sens. Teresa Ruiz, D-Essex, and Sandra B. Cunningham, D-Hudson, that would eliminate a provision prohibiting certain people in prison from receiving vital tuition assistance from the state.


A companion bill (A-3722) was also introduced by Assemblywomen Shavonda Sumter, D-Passaic, and Mila Jasey, D-Essex, which has yet to come up for a vote.

As a New Jersey police training commissioner and former Plainfield director of public safety, I know that educating prisoners is a matter of public safety.

ARAND Corporation Study found that people who participate in education programs in prison are 43 percent less likely to reoffend, meaning safer streets for all of us.

A bill that promotes prison education would also help create safer prisons f…